program called RAYS of Hope, an acronym for (Resident Advisors at Your
Service). The program is under the direction of Val Daye, their newly
hired program director for Hope House. Beginning in March, Daye
branded, organized, recruited, trained and scheduled the 60 community
volunteers from faith-based congregations and organizations in the
Lake Norman area who are now monitoring the facility under Daye's
Established in 2004, Hope House Foundation provides a comfortable home
environment and support services for single unaccompanied women or
women with children (boys up to 8 years of age only) who are homeless
or at-risk of homelessness in the Lake Norman area where there is not
such facility. With 12 beds in a pleasant congregate living
environment, Hope House encourages transformative life choices and
helps women from various backgrounds, experiences, age groups and from
all walks of life who have no other network of support for success.
"Beginning last winter, The Salvation Army and Hope House had a
collaborative agreement to operate and staff the house to full
capacity for the winter months with homeless women and children,"
explained Hope House founder and chair, Lee Beth Lindquist, MD.
During this time, our foundation provided the house and its upkeep for
the residents that were referred and supervised by The Salvation Army."
Knowing that The Salvation Army would be leaving May 31, Hope House's
board of directors took a proactive approach in early spring and
established an innovative volunteer model program through Daye's
leadership that was launched within three months. On June 1, a smooth
transition for staff and residents was accomplished by the two non-
profits who had worked together in close harmony for the past six
"The cost of staffing Hope House 24/7 is daunting with paid
employees," stated Lindquist. "We are required to have full-time
monitoring for our insurance coverage. The RAYS Program is estimated
to save the Hope House Foundation about $86,000 per year by recruiting
and training community volunteers."
After an extensive renovation that lasted three years and was
supported by Lake Norman volunteers, the 4,000 square foot residence
on four acres of land transformed into a friendly home-environment for
the women and children who hold the promise of transforming their
lives while at Hope House benefiting from the support and services
available to them.
Hope House opened with its first resident in August 2009 with the help
of collaborative partners – Ada Jenkins Center and Davidson Housing
Coalition. With these collaborative partners and others, Hope House
accepts referrals from professional case managers and social workers
as well as other organizations that make referrals to Hope House
knowing that the woman can exit this transitional home within six
According to Daye, "We have recruited outstanding, responsible women,
age 21 or older, primarily from the faith-based community who are
volunteering their time to spend with the residents on specific days
and times, providing general support, safety and guidance as well as
see to it that the Hope House's rules and regulations are properly
"It's been so easy to find women volunteers in the Lake Norman area
who have a heart for serving others with the ability to provide
motivation, inspiration, and "hope" to those who greatly need it,"
Volunteers from the following churches that are part of the RAYS
Program to date are: Ardent Faith, Faith Life, First Baptist
Huntersville, Holy Spirit Catholic, Independence Hill Baptist Church,
Journey Church Huntersville, Mt. Zion United Methodist, New Beginnings
Moravian, New Birth, Northcross Church, Sojourn Church, St. Albans
Episcopal, St. Mark Catholic and St. Marks Episcopal.
The RAYS Program has created a new energy and excitement in the house
with residents who connect to the many volunteers who now come in and
out of their lives. While not required, the Hope House Resident
Advisor volunteers are encouraged to share their special skills,
hobbies, or interests during their time at the home. The residents are
eager for different volunteers to come back and constantly watch the
schedule for their favorite new friends.
About The Hope House Foundation
The Hope House Foundation is a 501-(c)-(3) non-profit charitable
organization created to serve the growing needs of homeless women and
women with children in the Lake Norman area in a comfortable suburban
home in Huntersville. To qualify, residents must be carefully screened
to live at Hope House and are expected to be responsible for household
chores and to fulfill personal goals set by their case managers and
staff to become self-sufficient. To learn more about Hope House and
become a friend to its mission or to volunteer your time, call
704-992-1902 or visit www.hopehousefoundation.org<http://www.hopehousefoundation.org