Thanks for all your support and votes.
Caitlyn: At the end of last year, my dad kicked me out and I didn't really know where to go. And since I didn't have school going on, I was kind of just, you know, like having fun with my friends. And then school started, and I was like, "Okay this is--it's real now." Like I need to figure out a place to stay, where I can go to school and come home. I went to Wendy, and that was how I got placed in a home. Wendy Wojtanowicz: The hard thing, you know, when we're talking about housing and Gig Harbor, oftentimes we don't really see it, it's not a visual on the streets everyday like it is if you visit Seattle. We had students living in their cars, like in the back of supermarkets.
Michael Smith: Harper Hope Center is really bridging the gap in this community. We're meeting needs that are unmet. We don't realize how many students are dealing with family issues, where their parents are alcoholic or on drugs or other substance abuse, and home is not a safe place for them.
Caitlyn: Like I didn't know people opened their homes for kids that don't have places to stay. And that was really my only option, so I did it, and it was awesome.
Who is Harbor Hope Center?
Harbor Hope Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of those in need in Gig Harbor and the Peninsula. Our vision is "no neighbor with unmet needs."
We exist to fill a gap in services and funding we observed from the Narrows Bridge to Port Orchard, Washington.
We are the community group responding to the crisis of youth homelessness identified by the Peninsula School District.
We express our vision through five pillars of service:
Harbor Hope Center is an organization of community members who have come together to better the lives of homeless students and families in the greater Gig Harbor and Kitsap Peninsula area. Our goal is to create a safety network that assists in meeting the growing economic, physical and emotional needs through our five pillars: host home program, mentoring program, food, clothing and transportation assistance. Harbor Hope Center is currently privately funded and staffed primarily by volunteers. We have developed a Host Home Program which includes a "Care Home" that was donated to provide housing for homeless male students. The program is supported by multiple volunteer "Host Homes" which house and parent homeless students with the goal of helping them graduate while equipping them to become successful members of the community. We have staffed the "Care Home" with a full-time paid resident advisor to mentor and supervise these students. We plan to acquire two additional homes, one for female homeless students and one for homeless single parent families. In addition to this, our Path to Success includes mentoring of each student, transportation to get them where they need to go, food and adequate school clothing to help them thrive.