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Project Hope for the Homeless

The Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake County

Since 1993, the Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake County, Inc., has served the homeless in Northeast Ohio with the mission of responding to the human hurts and hopes of persons in Lake County who are homeless by providing emergency shelter, care, and guidance in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, the Network operates: 

Project Hope for the Homeless, the only emergency homeless shelter in Lake County, which has a current capacity for up to 35 individuals each night, and serves about 400 adults and children each year. The nightly program allows guests to find a safe location to improve their quality of life by meeting their basic needs and providing one-on-one
meetings with caring, professional staff. Generous groups donate dinner each night, which is served by caring volunteers. On average, guests stay about 35 nights, and more than 40 percent of guests each year are able to transition into a better housing situation. 

The Aftercare Program, which began in 2007 to allow for continued support for former guests. The aftercare coordinator works with guests as they prepare to leave Project Hope, and for up to one year after by hosting monthly social and educational meetings, care packages, and referrals for care from partner agencies. 

Families Moving Forward, which was launched in 2013 as a response to the increasing 
numbers of families with children staying at Project Hope for the Homeless. Children find an inviting environment with toys, rooms for naps, activities, and increased stability. Parents find a respite, where they can receive referrals for help. Together, these families build resiliency and work toward a more stable future. 

Despite this growth, more than 1,100 calls for shelter were turned away in 2013 because the shelter was at capacity. In mid-2013, the Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake County, Inc., launched Building on a Strong Foundation, a 5,200 sq. ft. capital expansion that will lessen the wait time for emergency shelter and help keep families intact and less traumatized. The public is invited to celebrate this community project at 11 a.m. Nov. 22, for the ribbon-cutting and open house. 

Learn more about how you can get involved at www.projecthopeonline.org and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/projecthopeforthehomeless