Hope Communities could not exist without the continued generous support from the community. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following foundations for their very generous support: Anschutz Family Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation Regional, Venoco, Inc., Denver Office of Economic Development and The TJX Foundation.
Great Divide Brewing Co. donates 100% of their proceeds from the sample sized beer pours in their Tap Room to two nonprofits a month. Hope Communities is one of those very lucky nonprofits that will benefit from Great Divide Brewing Company’s generosity during the entire month of November!
Drop by their Tap Room located at 2201 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80205 and sample some tasty beer! Hours are Sunday – Tuesday: Noon – 8:00 PM, and Wednesday – Saturday: Noon – 10 PM.
Please feel free to share this information with your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors, and please share on your Facebook page as well!
HANDS FOR HOPE DAY THANK YOU!
Hope Communities would like to thank all of the sponsors and volunteers who participated in the 2013 Hands For Hope Day event! What a difference your caring, time and talent has made in the community! We look forward to seeing you in September, 2014!
A special thank you goes out to our wonderful sponsors who helped make this event possible: Bellco Credit Union, Hirsch Gibney, KEPHART, Kwal Paint, Step Hills Transfer, Polsinelli, Pasquini’s Pizzeria, Palace Construction.
On August 10, 2013 the Red Rocks Century Bike Challenge will take place. This is a challenging and scenic ride through the foothills area. Riders will experience 109 miles of epic and challenging terrain as they ride through and around Front Range landmarks including Dinosaur Ridge, Red Rocks Park and the historic Brook Forest Inn, as well as the mountain towns of Idledale, Kittridge, Evergreen, and Idaho Springs. Additionally riders will experience the climb up Squaw Pass where the elevation tops out at 11,140 feet. The total elevation gain for this route is over 9,350 feet. Hope Communities is one of four charities/non-profit agencies that will benefit from the proceeds of this bike challenge.
More details on how to sponsor this event, how to participate in the ride, or how to volunteer, please click on the link: www.redrockscentury.com
Once you meet nine-year old Birtukan you won’t forget her. She’s a bubbly, smart, fun, and energetic resident of Hope Communities who just happens to speak English and Tigrinya (one of the languages of Eritrea). She was born in Sudan, moved to Eritrea, then to Ethiopia, then to America. She translated for us when we went to her Hope Communities’ apartment to meet her and her mother who speaks limited English. Birtukan’s mother served traditional Eritrean coffee beginning with roasting the coffee beans. Birtukan and her mother came to America (because of fighting and violence between Eritrea and Ethiopia) with the help of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. (The Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.) Birtukan and her mother lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia where Birtukan went to school and her mother distributed food. She and her mother have been in the U.S. three to four years – they aren’t sure. Birtukan learned English at Place Bridge Academy, a Denver Public School magnet school for refugees. She loves school, especially math and reading, and plays soccer. Her ambition: to be a social worker because she wants to help people. Her name means orange – the fruit – not the color. Like the fruit, she’s beautiful, healthy and vibrant and we are happy to have Birtukan and her mother as residents of Hope Communities.
Hope is very pleased to welcome Sarah Fischer as our new Resident Services Coordinator. As her title implies, Sarah will organize and oversee all services to our residents. She started in September and is introducing herself to the residents and is learning directly from them what services and support would best serve their needs.
Sarah brings to Hope Communities a rich background, including a two-year assignment with the Peace Corps in Morocco. Speaking French, basic Arabic and Tamazight, Sarah’s assignment was small business development. For Sarah, one of the highlights of Morocco was “the food which is the binding agent.”
She has worked for several Denver area agencies, including Mercy Housing, as an intern while earning her Master’s Degree from the University of Denver. Hope is very lucky to have Sarah bring her experience, energy and enthusiasm to our residents.
We are proud to introduce residents Eh Gay and her five children, Doe Soe (age 15), Pru Soe (age 11), Pro Soe (age 9), Gate (age 4) and Elizabeth (age 6 months).
Coming to America and Hope Communities wasn’t easy when Eh Gay came seven years ago. In 1988, when Eh Gay was 10 years old, Eh Gay’s family was caught up in the religious and ethnic fighting and subsequent persecution by the military government of Burma. Like many Burmese, Eh Gay and her family ended up in a Thai refugee camp where they remained for seventeen years.
They were never allowed to leave for any reason. Eh Gay married and gave birth to her first three children in the refugee camp. There was a school and a hospital but no running water, no electricity, no refrigerators, no stoves. When the food shipment from the United Nations came late, there was hunger. According to Eh Gay, there was a lot of stress in the refugee camps related to boredom and a lack of work. Drinking and drug use were prevalent as well as domestic violence.
Eh Gay took advantage of what little was offered. At the camp, she went to school, learning English and Karen (a language of Burma and Thailand) and also studied her native language of Burmese, skills she would use when she reached the United States.
The United Nations and the U.S State Department facilitated Eh Gary’s journey to the U.S. where she was resettled in Denver and lives in a Hope Communities property. Her mother and sister went to Sweden. Another sister committed suicide at the camp.
At Hope Communities and as a volunteer, Eh Gay helps translate for new Burmese and Karen-speaking residents. She also volunteers to meet every new family the day after they move into their new Hope apartment and lets staff know if there are any issues. She also sits on the Resident Council. Her children have participated in the pre-school and after-school programs offered on site at her Hope Communities building.
“America is the best for me. It makes me feel good every day. I love Hope Communities and my children’s schools. I have lots of friends,” says Eh Gay. “Someday I would like to advocate for women’s rights. I saw a lot of abuse in the refugee camps. There are a lot of women’s rights here. There is more freedom.”
As much as kids look forward to summer vacation, it can be a stressful time for low-income families. Childcare costs and the loss of subsidized school lunches can make the blessings of summer feel like a curse. At Hope Communities, we help families not only survive the summer, but use the time to thrive!
Beginning June 6, and running for six weeks, families at Hidden Brook will have access to FREE summer day camp right on their property. Like our after-school tutoring program STRIVE, this summer session of STRIVE will also concentrate on literacy skills for the elementary school participants.
Daily curriculum in math, reading and writing will help students maintain, and hopefully improve their academic skills over the summer. Studies show that low-income children can lose several months of reading skill each summer compared to their peers with higher incomes. Our goal at Summer STRIVE is to make sure our youngest residents keep their minds sharp all year long!
Thanks to the support of the Food Bank of the Rockies and the Colorado Department of Education, Summer STRIVE will also provide free hot lunches everyday. This benefit along with lots of daily physical activities will encourage healthy bodies as well as strong minds.
But please don’t think that we’re all work and no play at Summer STRIVE — there’s plenty of summertime fun with field trips and swimming days — all with Hope Communities’ caring staff making sure every child is safe and nurtured. That’s what we call a great summer!
For more stories about Hope Communities residents, please watch our video by clicking here.
Hope Communities holds an event where during the holiday season they gather gifts and create a store for each of its different housing complexes. This assists the families who may otherwise struggle providing gifts for their children at Christmas time.