Cottage Hills, IL - The House of Hope Shelter, a new shelter for homeless women with children, is set to open in the coming months with the help and support of area churches, businesses and individuals.  The shelter will be opened by the Community Hope Center, a local faith-based food pantry and donation center that provides more than 300,000 pounds of food each year to the area’s poverty-stricken families.   Community Hope Center serves families as far away as Greene County, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri.

A fully furnished building is all ready for residents to move into and will house up to nine families. The shelter will house only women with dependent children.  Danielle Robinette, Executive Director of the House of Hope Shelter, said plans have been underway for this exciting new shelter for several months.  “I was hired in May to begin making plans so that we could open this shelter as soon as financially possible to hire and train the required staff,” said Robinette.  “I have been meeting weekly with an Advisory Committee to make sure that we have all our policies, guidelines and models in place.  I’ve spent time shadowing the directors of a very successful shelter in Springfield, IL, to gain the wisdom and expertise I’ll need to direct the House of Hope Shelter.  We’re being very deliberate in our approach to the opening of this shelter.  We’re taking our time in laying all the groundwork.”

Operation of the shelter will require the commitment and support of local churches, businesses and individuals.  “Providing shelter and services to the homeless requires a significant budget, so we are appealing to the people of our communities to step forward and become a partner in this new ministry,” said Robinette.  Informational meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of the month starting in January, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the House of Hope.  The shelter is located behind the Community Hope Center at 1201 Hope Center Lane in Cottage Hills. 

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