Guest Post: Community of Hope Executive Director, Mandy Kilgore
Huntsville Community of Hope
Huntsville Community of Hope was born through frustrations of not being able to find long term housing solutions for our homeless friends that were ready for that big step. We began searching for solutions, and through that we stumbled across another organization, Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. We have plans already in place to replicate their amazing village right here in Madison County. In 2018, our team traveled to Austin, TX where we attended their symposium and learned the tools needed to replicate that successful model. Their holistic approach is truly the best way to not only get our friends off the streets, but to keep them off the streets. This allows our emergency and transitional shelters to be just that. Unfortunately, you will find that many of our friends tend to stay long term in places only meant for temporary shelter. If you have not heard of this organization, we would definitely recommend researching them. You will find a vast amount of information and videos that will be helpful. Click here for more information on Community First! Village https://mlf.org/community-first/
Community of Hope History
We have spent years building relationships and walking alongside our local homeless community here in Huntsville. Together, we have witnessed both the success and failures of our homeless friends as they seek permanent shelter and take critical steps to improve their lives. We have also discovered a gap in permanent affordable housing. Housing our friends can afford is not readily available in Huntsville. Through this shared experience, and proven successful models in other cities across the nation, we have learned it will take a community approach to make a real difference. In 2019, our 501©3 was founded. We carefully selected servicing our chronic disabled homeless friends. This selection was made after researching the services made available to our homeless community. Our homeless families, children, and women are well loved on and have services to support them. Our chronic homeless friends need services directed at the specifically, and Community of Hope is happy to fill this much needed gap here in Madison County.
Community of Hope has a highly innovative approach to dealing with homelessness. Our Restoration Works Program will provide jobs on site for our homeless friends. This is a critical and necessary step as our friends will pay rent to live in the community. COH will provide access to care, by providing healing opportunities for physical health and mental health. We will also have on site a community general store, gardens, animal husbandry, orchards and so much more. Once aspect we really want to highlight will be our missional that live on site. They will be our boots on the ground and provide the instate community support so desperately needed for success in a housing first model. Housing will never solve homelessness, but community will. Our friends will finally have a place they can call their forever home.
Solving chronic homelessness through community.
Building a residential community for our chronically homeless neighbors and empowering our surrounding community into a lifestyle of love and service.
The Community of Hope team is searching for 50 acres in our community to begin building a residential master planned community. Partnerships are being built with organizations that will help us advance our mission and create systemic change in our homeless community.
Our first capital campaign amount is $1.5 million. This amount will allow us to purchase land and cover initial development cost. This property is tremendously important. It serves as the catalyst to get off the streets and out of the camps and into a community they can call home.
In the Fall of 2022, Community of Hope will launch our next capital campaign. This funding will breathe life into our vision of providing homes, jobs on site, healing opportunities for physical and mental health, a community general store, animal husbandry, gardens, orchards, and so much more.
If you are interested in learning more about Huntsville Community of Hope or in giving, you can contact Mandy Kilgore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-504-3326. You can also visit them online at www.hsvcommunityofhope.org.