Thursday, August 5, 2021

Enrich Your Soul By Helping Those In Need

Soulshine Pizza and Tau Beta Pi honor society invite you to “Share the Hope” Friday, Dec. 13 for music, fun and a good cause.

“Share the Hope” is a Christmas benefit for Doors of Hope Transition Ministires, Oxford’s only house and self-sufficiency program for homeless families.

Spread the Christmas cheer and enjoy music by:

The Blazer Brothers 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Gutter Daisies – Beginning at 10:00 p.m.

A $10 donation at the door after 9:00 p.m. includes exclusive food and drink specials, plus the opportunity to help some of Oxford’s most needy this holiday season.

doorsofhope

HottyToddy.com previously profiled Doors of Hope. Read more here about the amazing work they do and be sure to give a donation at Soulshine Pizza (308 S. Lamar), just off the Square, on Friday, Dec. 13.

Doors of Hope Transition Ministries has been opening doors to a brighter future for Lafayette County’s homeless and financially unstable since June 2011. The brainchild of a taskforce designated by the City of Oxford, Doors of Hope is a program that not only houses homeless families but also works with them on an impressively personal level to make sure that they have truly begun a journey toward self-sufficiency.

doorsofhopelogoDoors of Hope’s only employee, Tammy Delcourt, has been with the project as the case manager since it gained it’s non-profit status and jumped to housing its first family just a month later. Delcourt believes the program was designed to best assist the situations commonly seen with struggling families in the area.

“There are so many families out there that are displaced or find themselves in a situation for a lot of different reasons,” Delcourt said, naming seasonal layoffs, serious illness, and poor budgeting skills as some of the common culprits.

From its inception, Doors of Hope has been committed to individualized assistance to each of its clients. Its initiating taskforce had a dream of inciting lasting change in each family that worked the program.

“They had to really look at who can we really help, what can we really do. Because you can’t help everyone and you don’t just want to throw a dollar here and a dollar there, you want to really be focused,” Delcourt said.

Clients who opt in to Doors of Hope’s program receive housing and utilities, as well as items and services to satisfy basic needs while they work and train to become more effective money managers in the future.  The program can be viewed as a stepping-stone for the clients to reach self-sustainability.

“We try to provide out clients with as many necessities as we can so that they aren’t spending their money on that and they can put it toward savings or a debt,” Delcourt said.

The items provided by Doors of Hope include toilet paper, health and beauty products, household cleaners, and any other products that one might use on a daily basis.church2

In the spirit of focusing on clients as individuals, Doors of Hope modifies and adds to its basic program depending on the client.

“They’re all required to budget, they’re all required to save; those are things that everyone is required to do,” Delcourt said. “But then we look at the family on an individual basis and say, ‘okay what do they need?’ Do they need help connecting with resources, do they need their GED, do they need parenting lessons, and it’s really just whatever they need if we can help them.”

Doors of Hope asserts itself as a very strict program, based on prioritizing necessities and foregoing luxuries. The housing provided to families only includes the essentials.

“We’re very structured. There’s no Internet, no satellite or cable, because those are not needs,” Delcourt said. “We want our clients, when they get out on their own, to look at the needs first; I think they realize in the long run that there are a lot of things their money could be better spent on.”

Doors of Hope’s office is located in First Presbyterian Church just off the Oxford Square, which was also the incubator for another one of Oxford’s homeless resources, Interfaith Compassion Ministries.

“First Presbyterian has a history of being very gracious to us,” Delcourt said, also noting that local churches of nearly every denomination have come together to support relief efforts for Oxford’s homeless through Doors of Hope, ICM, and many other avenues.

“There’s that old phrase, ‘it takes a village,’ and this really goes back to that,” Delcourt said of Doors of Hope.

The ministry truly requires community involvement to run at full efficiency. A program like this one takes a dentist donating toothbrushes, a barber offering to cut the clients’ hair, a mechanic fixing a client’s car so he has a way to get to the job that will eventually sustain him.

“You can rely on the federal government, you can rely on something far off, but if you can’t help the people around you, where are we going to be?” Delcourt asked.

The word “transition” in its title represents Door of Hope’s desire to be just a step in the lives of its clients, hopefully a step in a better direction.

“We don’t want people to be successful for four months, we want to see them successful four years from now and eight years from now,” Delcourt said.  “I always tell people you take it one step at a time, and if this is the first step then you take the second step and so on, but you’re not going to get anywhere until you take that first step.”

Doors of Hope Transition Ministries accepts applications year round and will hold interviews when units are available. Applications can be obtained at Interfaith Compassion Ministries, the Salvation Army, the Department of Human Services, and Comunicare in Oxford.

– Grace Sullivan is a student in the Meek School of Journalism

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