A vision where no one goes without
and everybody deserves a second chance…
Hope Of The Valley Rescue Mission
“Our mission is to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness by offering immediate assistance and long-term solutions.“
During the past few months, Jean & Alex Trebek had noticed an increase in the homeless population in their community and that motivated them to find out if there was a homeless shelter nearby where they could donate. Little did they know that an amazing homestead was being built in Mission Hills. This was the perfect opportunity for them to assist in the completion of the Hope of The Valley Rescue Mission facility.
When they met Ken and Laurie Craft, they were very inspired by their compassionate natures… as we are sure you will be…
Here is Laurie Craft:
“There were many who questioned why we would start a rescue mission in 2009 in the midst of an economic crisis but to us, it was the perfect time because this was a calling, not a career.”
—Laurie Craft, Senior Director of Programs, Hope Of The Valley
What is Hope of the Valley?
Ken and I founded Hope of the Valley (HOTV) in August 2009. As a leading housing and homeless services provider, Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission strives to prevent, reduce and eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness by offering immediate assistance and long-term solutions. Hope of the Valley was started as a direct response to the increased number of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
The Closet of Hope
Why did you and your husband start Hope of the Valley?
There were many who questioned why we would start a rescue mission in 2009 in the midst of an economic crisis but to us, it was the perfect time because this was a calling, not a career. Starting Hope of the Valley under adverse circumstances required that we exercise what has become one of our building blocks to success; stepping out in FAITH.
Before we had staff, facilities and programs, we had a vision and deep passion to help people that were struggling and faith that God would provide the resources to get the job done. We reached out to some strategic friends and shared our dream of creating a full array of services for people who were hungry, hurting and homeless.
Hope of the Valley was launched on a Thursday evening in August 2009 by serving dinner to 28 people in a borrowed church fellowship hall. It was a humble beginning but as it has been said, “From humble beginnings come great things.”
Warm & Cozy
Please tell us about Hope of the Valley’s current programs?
Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission currently has 12 homeless and housing programs and 5 Thrift Stores that help support these locations.
Our current programs include:
House of Hope: A 13-bed residential drug and alcohol recovery program for homeless men.
Genesis House: A 32-bed housing program for homeless families, mostly consisting of single moms and kids.
Shepherd’s House: A 50-bed housing program for homeless families
Casa de Vida: A 50-bed housing program for homeless families
Pacoima Shelter: A 138-bed year-round emergency shelter for single adults
HELP Center: An Access Center where people experiencing homelessness can access hot showers, nutritious meals, clean clothes, medical and mental health services, computer learning, case management, and housing navigation.
Navigation Center: An Access Center where people experiencing homelessness can access showers, case management and storage bins.
Safe Parking: Staffed parking lot where homeless clients living in their vehicles can park at night in safety and have access to case management and essential services.
NoHo Bridge Shelter: An 85-bed interim housing facility where clients can live while working to end their homelessness.
Van Nuys Bridge Shelter: A 100-bed interim housing facility where clients can live while working to end their homelessness.
Day Labor Site: Co-located onsite with our Navigation Center, clients are connected to local businesses for employment.
The Landing: A 38-bed shelter for transitional age youth of which the majority have timed out of the Foster Care System.
Hope of the Valley is committed to doing anything and everything possible to assist homeless children, youth and adults overcome poverty and homelessness. We enable our clients with the skills and resources necessary to live independent, self-sustaining lives.
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
Hope of the Valley is not driven by past or current success rather by the homeless crisis in Los Angeles where over 70,000 people are currently experiencing homelessness. Our goal is to continue to open programs, services and housing facilities until everyone is housed. Our primary objective is to restore Hope and rebuild lives…to give people a hand up, not a hand-out…to empower people to help themselves and better their lives.
What do you personally spend most of your time doing for Hope of the Valley?
As the Senior Director of Programs, I spend the majority of my time training and equipping our Directors and Managers who oversee our programs. I make sure all of our programs are operating at the highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency. I also keep my eyes open for new opportunities to serve the marginalized and underserved in our community.
Of utmost importance to me is leading by example and demonstrating servant leadership; my goal is to empower and cultivate growth in our team members by nurturing their strengths and helping them reach their maximum potential.
Can you give an example of the way Hope of the Valley makes a difference, or share a story that has touched your heart?
In our first 11 years there have been hundreds of amazing stories of people breaking free from drugs and alcohol, being reunited with family, landing the perfect job or moving into housing, but one story that stands out to me is the story of a couple we met who was living in their vehicle in front of our Help Center. They began accessing our meal and shower services just to get by each day.
Their journey into homelessness was a very painful one, as many are, and Madeline (name changed to protect privacy) sat in my office on many occasions with tears streaming down her face, ready to give up. Our team continued to work with them and in time, their lives began to turn around.
What stood out about this couple is that they were adamant about volunteering and helping around the center…they wanted to give back. Eventually our Help Center team was able to locate housing for this couple and I am happy to report that they are not only still housed but we hired Madeline who has been a Hope of the Valley team member for over a year now! They have come full circle; we could not be prouder of them.
How has this organization improved or grown over time?
I started the organization with a staff of one, and now we have over 20 incredible people working with us. We’ve also expanded our programming to cover all aspects of education advocacy, from self-advocacy training to civil litigation.
HOTV provides shelter, food, and supportive services to 39 families made up of people of all ages.
Our residents range from newborns to older adults.
What inspires you about Hope of the Valley…can you share a specific story?
One of our motto’s is: “Hope of the Valley, where EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING gets a second chance!” We do not believe anybody is too far gone or a lost cause. We believe in the dignity of every man, woman and child. We treat all people equally without discrimination, realizing that most of us are one bad decision or tragedy away from a life of despair and hopelessness.
Recently, I sat with a gentleman at our Raymer Bridge Shelter who wanted to share his story with me. He had been employed his entire life and was married for over 40 years but when his wife suddenly passed away he began drinking and lost it all; he ended up homeless. Sadly, living on the streets made him feel worthless and hopeless…until the opportunity came along to stay in our shelter. Now, every time I see him he is smiling from ear to ear and thanking me for the opportunity he has been given to turn his life around.
At the end of the day, our clients inspire me. Their resilience and strength remind me of why I do this work…the work matters…they matter.
Planning for the Future
Is there anything that you wish more people knew about this organization, and how can people get involved?
At Hope of the Valley we operate from a base of empathy and compassion. We do not judge people rather we simply meet them where they are at. We are Hope Dealers, restoring a sense of dignity, purpose and worth for those who have gone astray. Ignoring the problem and looking the other way is not an option. We have a moral obligation and responsibility to care for those who are struggling on our streets.
Real life change happens when we love unconditionally, serve faithfully and give generously. Amazing things happen when a community comes together and each person offers their time, talent and treasure…their wisdom and wealth to help their fellow brother and sister.
By JEAN TREBEK
Jean is a Professional Religious Science Practitioner, Reiki Master and Sound Healer. She grew up on Long Island, NY, and now lives in Los Angeles with her wonderful husband of 29 years, Alex, and has 2 amazing adult children, Matthew and Emily. Jean enjoys taking long walks, watching movies, and traveling. She is very grateful for her family, Willy the dog, friends and good coffee.
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