All of us have our own ideas about homelessness and the reasons as to why people experience its cruel and unforgiving treatment. “It is possible to argue that for most people, their beliefs on homelessness are mediated by depictions in the media – through the internet, television, newspapers and magazines, movies and books” (Reynalds,2006). It is important to consider how we think about the problem as that will have a big effect on what we do about it. Haven of Hope was founded to be a part of the solution, not just another shelter providing basic essentials for homelessness, but an organization that seeks to facilitate a return to self-sufficiency for our guests, including helping them to create a more positive impact on their neighborhood, even in their current circumstances.
The Love Your Neighbor Project was established to afford our homeless community the opportunity to care for the neighborhood in which they reside in. Building trust, restoring broken bridges to life, educating the community about the services provided to our homeless neighbors and giving back to our community are the main focus for the Love Your Neighbor Project.
Here at Haven of Hope, we believe that we need each other to be successful in life and in our efforts to create a better society for our current and future generations. Scripture tells us: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Life is so much better when we do it together. We need each other for encouragement, help, and support - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Family and friend relationships are very important, God created us to live together, as one, in harmony.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5).
We all have a job, a purpose, and a place of belonging. The Love Your Neighbor Project encourages and trains homeless community members to faithfully serve through volunteering their time and talent within their neighborhood, by cleaning the streets they live on, providing yard work, and other manual labor, assisting our neighboring business owners with basic needs and essential labor. In return, our neighbors may graciously reward them as they see fit, although it is not a requirement. While there is a huge negative stigma surrounding our homeless community, our goal is to educate individuals regarding the life of homelessness. Our message is simple, “Homeless, but still human!”
Our guests, whom we encounter on a daily basis, confront the psychological struggles of living homeless and the quickly deteriorating physical conditions around them. Our homeless neighbors may have nothing, but they are still human. Sadly, most people don’t see homeless people as human beings but as a nuisance and a disease within the community.
The Love Your Neighbor Project aims to restore pride and a sense of dignity back into the lives of our guests. With compassion and inspirational leadership from our neighbors, we remain dedicated to lifting the spirits of our homeless community. This is done by bridging the gap between our homeless community and our business owners within the community. The Love Your Neighbor Project believes dismissing our homeless guests as failures, dropouts, and drug addicts are grossly misleading. We encourage all of our donors, vendors, volunteers, and guests to join the Love Your Neighbor Project and become a voice in this overcrowded wilderness of homelessness and make a difference by dedicating your time, talent, donations and prayers.
For more information about how you can get involved with the Love Your Neighbor Project, please contact Derrick Vaughns, Facility Manager, Haven of Hope at:
1101 W. 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 802024