ENID, Okla. — Hope Outreach
Matt Lohman, executive director at Hope Outreach Ministries, also said thrift store sales are essential to its operations.
“The thrift store provides 80-90 percent of the funding for our ministries,” Lohman said, “which is pretty unique, given the number of ministries we have.”
Hope Outreach Ministries operates community missions for parenting, the homeless and community care and a Faith Farm for therapeutic and demonstration gardening.
In addition to funding direct service ministries, the thrift store also enables people in need to earn essential items and learn job skills along the way.
People in need are given the opportunity to earn vouchers, which they can exchange for goods in the thrift store.
“We give them what they need, and we ask them to put forth the effort,” Lohman said. “They put in some work and get what they need out of it.”
The thrift store also provides a venue for vocational rehabilitation, especially for workers with previous felony or drug convictions trying to reenter the work force.
“The hidden aspect of our ministry is that we provide employment for about 30 people who are otherwise hard to employ,” Lohman said. “We’re giving them the opportunity to get back into the work force and to work their way toward a better job.”
Lohman said the community always has been supportive of the thrift store, both by donating goods and shopping in the store.
When people shop in or donate to the store, Lohman said they can be assured all contributions go directly to helping people in the local community.
“Everything stays in Enid and the northwest Oklahoma area,” Lohman said. “We’re not a national organization, and everything stays here to go into ministry, to empower people to responsible living.”
Lohman said Hope Outreach’s ministries in Enid would not be possible without the community’s support.
“The community has been really good at helping us out and contributing with donations,” Lohman said. “We’re here to help the community, but we couldn’t help the community without support from the community.”