Serving others with many hands and one heart
164 Guests Sheltered
In our Men’s Shelter
39,718 Hot Meals
Served in our Community Kitchen
Received Emergency Financial Assistance
We had a very full year… thanks to your help!
39,718 Hot Meals Served
268 Families Assisted
164 Guests Sheltered
HOPE MISSION and YOU
Together, we can do anything!
Here’s What’s Happening
Where your donations go…
According to BestPlaces.net, housing in Morehead City is 39% 1 more expensive than in the neighboring community of New Bern and the overall cost of living is 11% 1 higher.
And according to the US Census Bureau, there are nearly twice as many “housing units” (49,362 2) in Carteret County as there are “households” (29,563 2). That might make you think, “there is plenty of housing, so why are there so many homeless people in the area?” Many of those “housing units” are high-dollar vacation rentals, which are not typically affordable as living space for the average working resident whose wages are below both the state and national average.
With 23% 2 of residents over the age of 65 and another 11.7% 2 made up of veterans (which does not likely account for the homeless vets and seniors, living on the streets or in the woods), Carteret County has a growing need for a shelter and other types of assistance for members of the community that are “hanging by a thread“.
This is the part of the story where Hope Mission comes in. Hope Mission has taken on the responsibility of caring for the community of which they are a part. This is not your typical “institution type shelter” where homeless people are given a meal, a bed, and then sent out to look for a job. Hope Mission goes way beyond that and works hand-in-hand with each person on a very personal level, to ensure that they feel like they belong. It’s the philosophy of Executive Director Gene McLendon. “People that are homeless or teetering on the edge or have addictions to drugs or alcohol, lack a sense of belonging. Most of us have families and so we don’t think about that. But when you lose that sense of family and of BELONGING, nothing else matters much. At Hope Mission, we work with a person to help them regain a sense of belonging.”
There are 15 beds (max allowed) in the 32′ x 86′ building that serves as the men’s shelter by night and the soup kitchen by day. The 15 residents of the men’s shelter get up at 6:00 am every morning, fold up and put away the army cots they sleep on, then set up the tables that convert the shelter into a lunch room where more than 100 homeless and poor come to eat a hot meal every day.
Next, the “shelter guests” complete some “chores” like sweeping, washing floors or cleaning the bathrooms. Then they may receive one-on-counseling, take care of appointments (medical, dental, etc.), look for a job or enroll in school.
Hot lunch is served 7 days a week from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, after which time the Soup Kitchen’s lunch room is converted to a classroom where AA and Bible Study classes are held. Students in the last class will sweep the room again and put up a few tables for dinner time when local groups or churches bring dinner for the shelter guests.
At 6:00 pm (check-in time), the shelter allows their “guests” to check back in. Guests are required to shower and setup their cot for the night. Hope Mission doesn’t have beds with mattresses and box springs, they have army cots. And with just one shower stall and 15 men, it can take a while for everyone to clean up.
Hope Mission has a success rate that is hard to argue with, not only in the shelter, but also in their recovery program.
In 2018, Hope Mission was finally able to open a temporary Women’s Homeless Shelter. This is the first and only women’s homeless shelter in Carteret County. The Women’s Shelter is actually a rented house and the lease limits occupancy to 6 residents, 1 of which must be a supervisor. It’s not ideal, but it IS a start. In Carteret County, 50.9%2 of the population is made up of women. Because Hope Mission has grown in pieces over the years, their buildings are scattered around town.
The success of Hope Mission is due entirely to the partnerships that the Mission has formed with the community. Businesses, individuals, churches, organizations and private groups have all partnered with Hope Mission over the years to volunteer and provide funding; even the police and fire departments show up to serve lunch at Hope Mission.
Online donations can be made to Hope Mission to help with daily expenses for food, shelter and emergency services here. Or to find out about partnering with Hope Mission contact Executive Director Gene McLendon.
- Sperling’s BestPlaces. Retrieved February 22, 2018 from: https://www.bestplaces.net/compare-cities/morehead_city_nc/new_bern_nc/costofliving
- United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 22, 2018 from: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/carteretcountynorthcarolina/PST045216
There are lots of ways for you to participate with Hope Mission and help our community:
- Personal items for Shelter Guests
- Food items for Community Kitchen
- Start a fund raising event
- Cash is always welcome!