What We Do
Casas de Familias de la Esperanza
This year marks an exciting new chapter in the mission: We are nearing completion of a new, 70-unit housing and community learning center at the base of Hope Road. It will house 500 men, woman and children, giving many, for the first time, true sheltered homes with running water, electricity, and modern appliances.
The center includes a large, multi-use building for special events, plus a kitchen and offices for medical, dental and mental health support; and an education building to house our daycare, our Teen Program, and our pre-kinder, computer and English classes.
The mission’s biggest challenges, however, still lie ahead. The new center represents much more than “just” shelter or a collection of buildings. It must be a transformative place, providing the physical, educational, and spiritual support to families so they can become independent and self-sufficient. Expanding our education programs will be key.
For the families, moving from shanties into a modern community will be a radical change. Only our most successful families will be the first residents. They’ll learn the responsibilities of maintaining their homes (and the center in general) and they’ll be the leaders and teachers of future residents.
School Sponsorship Program
Not every child in Mexico gets a basic education. The poorest of the poor often are not registered, and cannot afford the costs of education, such as books, uniforms and fees. We created the School Sponsorship Program in 2007 with a simple, but ambitious goal: Enroll every child in the “Hope” neighborhood in school. When we started, we enrolled 30 children. Today, with the support of our sponsors, we have enrolled nearly 300 children.
The mission project started with the basics: bringing water, food and clothing to families working and living at the dump. Providing physical support – with our breakfast and lunch programs, food bank and co-op store – today remains a critical part of our mission. Without access to regular meals and healthy foods, children cannot thrive in school and families cannot grow to become successful and self-sufficient.
The new housing and community center, which is nearing completion, will provide safe shelter for some 70 families and, of course, improved facilities for our support programs.
Breakfast and Lunch Programs
At our mission center, at the base of the city dump, some 100 children come for a nutritious breakfast, Monday through Friday, and another 150 children come for lunch. The kitchen is run by volunteers, from the families themselves, and they’ve learn skills such as food preparation, hygiene and, of course, satisfying large groups of hungry patrons! These skills are directly transferable into the workplace..
The co-op stocks food and house-hold items, providing a low-cost “super mini” for families in the Hope Neighborhood. Like the Lunch and Breakfast programs, it is staffed by family volunteers, providing not just a great local service, but also valuable training running a small business.
Education, along with physical support, is a founding pillar of the mission’s work. Our goal is help families become self-sufficient, and break the cycle of poverty with this generation of children. Key to our success is our Education Programs.
Our School Sponsorship Program encompasses some of our most critical education work, aimed at kids and teens, while we will be launching Adult Education with the opening of the new center in 2014.
The daycare provides a safe and nurturing environment for young children while their mothers are at work. There is no cost to the mothers for this service. Approximately 20-30 children attend daily.
The Pre-School Program prepares 3-4 year-olds for Kindergarten. Approximately 10-12 children currently attend these classes Monday through Friday.
Teen Program (Pilot)
This pilot program, currently offered to boys, keeps kids of the streets with team sports, group discussion, and trade-focused education (recent topic: silk screen printing).