In 1999, a ministry of Loveland Church called Storehouse of Blessings began with a small group of volunteers headed by Herbert Johnson and his wife Berthia. They began feeding the homeless and less fortunate in Santa Monica, California. They initially began feeding on Saturday of each week, serving 100 meals. Soon they expanded by adding 125 meals a week in San Bernardino, California and then an additional 100-125 meals a month at “Tent City” near the Ontario Airport. As awareness of the need grew, so did the team of volunteers willing to help. These services soon grew to include sleeping bags, toiletry kits and clothing. It quickly became painfully apparent that many of the people being served were in need of programs directed towards recovery from addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Today, Storehouse of Blessings is still serving the Inland Empire (San Bernardino/Riverside County area). Harold Patton and Chuck Singleton (Senior Pastor of Loveland Church), saw the need to take these services to a higher level. The plan is to acquire a facility to provide housing, life skills training, employment preparation, drug education, professional counseling, referral services, transportation, spiritual development and recovery programs.
The San Bernardino County Continuum of Care (CoC) Point-In-Time Count (PITC) is a federally mandated census of persons experiencing homelessness in the county. The census includes an unduplicated count of unsheltered and sheltered individuals and families experiencing homelessness on a given night in the last ten days in January.
There were a total of 2,118 persons who were homeless on January 25, 2018. The previous homeless count was completed in 2017, when 1,866 persons were counted. A comparison of the last two counts reveals that 252 more persons were counted in 2018, which represents an increase of 13.5%.
There were a total of 348 unsheltered chronically homeless persons in 2018 and 427 in 2017, which represents a decrease of 79 persons or 18.5%. Of the 348 persons, 167 or 48% had a chronic health condition, 160 or 46% had a physical disability, and 15 or 4.3% had HIV/AIDS.
There were 125 unsheltered veterans in 2018 and 111 in 2017, which represents an increase of 14 veterans or 12.6%. Veterans represented 10 percent of the total homeless adult population in 2017 and nine (9) percent in 2018.
All these factors affect homeless individuals (including the chemically dependent) in the area, which is the population group that is the focus of House of HOPE.
House of HOPE is seeking support to fill to capacity, expand and duplicate a sustainable, pro-active, team-based, and evidence-based transitional home. It is a care provider for the homeless, chemically dependent and the underserved in San Bernardino County, California.
Having once been homeless myself and having worked with the homeless since 2000, I’ve gained a fairly good understanding of their plight. Providing hot meals and basic needs are good and needed. However, Pastor Chuck Singleton and I see a far greater need. We want to help those who desire to be helped to get off the ground and regain their esteem once again.
Based on my past experience, I strongly believe that House of HOPE will help them do just that.
Harold G. Patton
President/House of HOPE Executive Board
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