Randy introduced the speakers.
Nicole Ketcher- Resource Development Director at Operation Hope She started at Operation Hope May 2017. She grew up in Vista and has been active in the Community throughout her whole life. She has a BA in Sociology from the University Of California Riverside. She is certified in Crisis Intervention in Domestic Violence and Sexual assault.
Evan Hodges- Volunteer Coordinator. He has been with Operation Hope for 2 years. He was a member of the staff team during the transition from a winter shelter to a year round program. He was a fundraiser for The Make A Wish Foundation.
Operation Hope is a year round shelter. They have 45 beds and 12 rooms. They were a winter only shelter and in 2016 they changed to year round. Their rooms are single dorm rooms. Their clients come in ready to work in their program, which is intense, and they have case managers. They gave examples of success stories: They have a family that owned a beautiful home, They were involved in a car accident and the Mom is now a paraplegic. They couldn’t keep up with all the medical expenses and they ended up sleeping in a car. They have been working hard to meet their goals and now will be moving out to their own apartment soon. Another story was of a family where the dad was a veteran with a special needs child, and a teenager. Both parents are working, but their credit rating became bad and they were unable to get an apartment. They have been there 7 months and will be getting an apartment soon.
The programs at the shelter are very individualized, to achieve success. They do drug testing, so they do not qualify for federal money. The shelter is a collaborative effort by churches and members of the community. They house 350 adults and 125 children each year. They have a staff of 16 and an annual budget of $725,000.00
There are many volunteer opportunities, including: after school club for the children, reinforcing good education Kid’s hour, where they can lead children in various activities.
There were many questions; Rob- Could they post previous meals? -A- Evan is working on it Dave- What is the average stay? -A- 30 to 90 days, but they will extend if necessary Julie- What are some volunteer opportunities? A- 1. front desk 2. the boutique area, since they have an influx of clothing. 3. One on one guidance to help set up mock resumes and Interviews. Keith-How do clients find you? A- Some walk-ins, mostly Internet Who do you serve? A- Families and single women Jim- Do you serve women in domestic violence issues. A- They are not a safe house, They will direct those victims to other shelters. Dave- How are you funded? A- 92% private funds .They do not qualify for federal funding. Joanne- Do you take single men? A- No.