For 30+ years, Holladay Properties’ South Bend office has been a strong supporter of the United Way of St. Joseph County (UWSJC). Each Fall, our staff kicks off its Holladay Lives United Campaign by touring a community agency and witnessing the affect our donor dollars have on the programs the organization supports. On Wednesday, September 26 employees from the South Bend corporate headquarters, Holladay Construction Group and the Hilton Garden Inn gathered together at Hope Ministries with one common goal: to see how we could be a part of defeating poverty in our community. The event began with a tour of the facility.
"On the tour of Hope with my colleagues, we were shown each floor of the building and what each one entailed," first time attendee, Administrative Assistant Shelby Seifer, said. "We were told about the different types of families living in Hope Ministries and what they do to help them. Something that stood out to me was the programs that are provided for the adults and children living there."
Hope Ministries provides classes for adults, and the facility has a resource room, fitness center, healthcare services, and much more. For children, Hope provides a program similar to daycare, and rooms where the children can go to play and be creative.
"On the third floor, they have a large lobby for children to ride bikes which I thought was pretty cool," Seifer said. "Hope really tries to make these families feel at home and help them get back on the right track."
After the tour, staff enjoyed lunch and a presentation from the Director of Hope Ministries, David Vanderveen. He shared with the group, the organization's goal of transforming the lives of those who are struggling in the community, through healing. Hope Ministries provides 12-18 month housing, counseling, educational and career programs to give individuals and families who are actively seeking a better life a healthy path to long-term stability. To round out the event, the Director of the Center for the Homeless, Steve Camilerri, joined David, to talk about their collaborative initiative based around Trauma Informed Care: Building TRUST.
"I grew up in South Bend and have spent a large amount of time downtown," Seifer said. "I always knew what Hope Ministries was but I never knew exactly what they did for people in our community. After visiting Hope Ministries through our United Way Campaign, I gained more knowledge about the organization that I ever thought I would know."
Over 145,000 people were aided by UWSJC’s agency funded programs like Hope Ministries and the Center for the Homeless in 2017. Remember: Our donations have the power to change lives.