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Losing Hope–Homeless Shelter Will Not Be Ready To Open

The Hope House Homeless Shelter will not be ready to open when November 1st arrives.

Shelter President and CEO John Niemela says they do not have enough host churches on board to serve as emergency shelters.

The only church to officially sign on to the effort was the First United Methodist Church of Hancock.

Niemela says they heard from some churches who said they did not believe they would have the volunteers necessary to run the rotating shelter.

Niemela also says he has heard from homeless people over the past couple of days looking for a place to stay but they were told they cannot help them.

The hope is they can still open the shelter by mid-season.

In the meantime, Niemela says the shelter is continuing to raise funds and asking for volunteers.

Niemela issued this statement:

I wanted to get you this update to let you know what is happening with our attempt to open the Hope House shelter November 1, 2017.  
At this moment, we do not have enough host churches to work with us to provide emergency shelter for our area homeless neighbors. 
This past week the “Hope House” Board of Directors met and we are all committed to working to open the shelter as soon as possible. We will also work with our area churches to answer any additional questions they may have before they are able to help host the shelter.
So far this these past couple days, I have been getting phone calls from homeless people that we can not help. I will be keeping track of all of these calls to see exactly the need is locally. Maybe when the snow starts coming down, real soon, we may be able to get churches to see the need and be willing to help us mid-season.
Even though the shelter will not be ready to open yet, we will still need to raise funds for ongoing financial needs, as we move forward. Please pray for our needs and if you would be able to provide us with financial support, we would be extremely grateful! 
One big favor – I would like to ask all of our local people, who have been supportive of our plans to open the shelter, if you would be willing to volunteer during the evenings and overnight (6 PM to 6 AM) to monitor and serve the guest staying with us, Please send me an email atJohnNiemela@gmail.com and mention you would be willing to volunteer.  One of the recurring reasons why many of the churches were not able to commit to hosting the shelter for a week at their church, was they did not think they had enough of their church members who would be able to volunteer for the necessary shifts. If I could develop a large list of community members who would consider volunteering this may help the churches see we do have great community support to operate the shelter.  Maybe this list will show the pool of volunteers would be able to meet the needs!
Please check back often for additional updates. 
Thank you for standing with us and for all of the help you have provided so far. We still have lots of work to do ahead of us and we need your help even more!
God Bless You Abundantly. Remember to keep us and our homeless neighbors in your Prayers!
John E Niemela
Hope House Homeless Shelter
Please support our GoFundMe Campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/hopehouseshelter
Hope House Homeless Shelter
John E. Niemela, President/CEO
606 Quincy Street
Hancock MI 49930-1806
906.281.2042 Cell
775.924.6713 eFax
john.niemela SKYPE

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