The residents at Hope Village helped host two events for the community in the last quarter of 2022, one of which led to the other. On October 31st, 2022, Hope Village celebrated its five-year anniversary in the community. Residents decorated their tiny homes for Halloween and set out candy to host trick-or-treaters. Many of the decorations and more than 30 pounds of candy were donated by members of our community!
This event and the support of the community helped in furthering our mission in a new and creative way. By opening Hope Village to the public for more than a regular tour of the facility, residents had the opportunity to meet community members, share their stories, and proudly present the place they call home to all who came to see it. This was just one more way that hope was brought to the residents of Rogue Retreat’s most aptly named shelter site.
Following this event, the residents wanted to do more. Case Managers and residents spoke about decorating for Christmas at one of their weekly guest meetings and the planning began!
Thanks to Lowe’s, we received a nine-foot artificial tree, extension cords, and live tree branches. Thanks to the Rogue Retreat Thrift Shop, we had ornaments and other decorations for use. Thanks to New Beginnings Church, we borrowed tables and chairs for a variety of uses. Thanks to staff and residents, there was candy and crafts for the children in attendance and there was hot chocolate, cider, candy canes, and popcorn.
The donor that came as the most pleasant surprise to us all was Kenny Pariseau, owner of Rogue Relief Renovations. After seeing a story in the news about a Hope Village resident finding more permanent housing in a Rogue Retreat apartment, he found a way to reach out to us and offer to light up the village for us. After one visit to the site, Kenny got hundreds of feet of lights donated by Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply and spent three days hanging them.
On December 23rd, 2022, Hope Village opened to the public for just a few short hours in the evening. Families took pictures at our photo booth, some of whom took the opportunity to meet Santa. Children made crafts with their families. Every attendee had the chance to walk through the village and see the lights and decorations while enjoying a hot chocolate or a hot cider. Residents greeted community members at the entrance and throughout the village.
The one thing we kept in mind through the planning phase was that we wanted to make this a food drive for our Kelly Shelter pantry. Everyone that came to our event brought a variety of canned and dry goods which were taken to the Kelly Shelter following the event.
Thank you to the over 150 community members who attended this holiday event! You helped us bring hope to those who struggle to find it. You saw our residents, you saw a need, and many of you did your best to help fill it. We appreciate your continued support and we look forward to hosting more events like this in the future.