January 09, 2013
Hope Acts is a newly forming 501c3 organization formed in partnership with Hope.Gate.Way., a United Methodist community of faith in downtown Portland, Maine. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for persons of Portland’s urban peninsula by addressing needs for healthy living, housing security, and a hopeful economic future; and to strengthen neighborhoods to become safe places of hospitality, hope, and healing for all people. We are guided and inspired by a vision for a community where all people experience social, emotional, physical, economic, and spiritual well-being. Currently our ministry focus is threefold:
Recovery & Wellness ministries: We are cultivating hospitality, hope, and healing and developing a deep sense of community with people in recovery from addictions and others seeking a more positive path forward through such groups as a weekly art group called Artworks, a bi-weekly writing group, a weekly yoga group, a weekly meditation gathering, a bi-weekly Women’s Listening Circle, and a weekly knitting group. As we become known in downtown Portland as a center for recovery, we also host recovery groups led by other organizations, including a weekly All-Recovery Group, a support group for parents and families of addicts called Next Step Forward, and a Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (The Augustine Fellowship) group. Through a partnership with a local organization called Wayside Food Programs, we offer a free lunch every Tuesday and a free dinner every Thursday.
Immigration & Refugee ministries: As the Hope.Gate.Way. United Methodist community has welcomed a number of refugees from Burundi, we are putting infrastructure in place to be able to assist them. These young men have escaped violence and bloodshed in their own country, most of them barely escaping with their lives, many of them leaving wives and children behind, and they come with physical and emotional scars. We are assisting with security deposits so they can leave the homeless shelter for small efficiency apartments; with assistance in accessing the services of attorneys as they seek asylum; with winter clothing, English language skills, with French interpreters, with emotional support and mentoring, with furniture and household items, and more.
Affordable Housing ministries: In the year ahead, we intend to address issues of affordable housing. Partnering with other organizations, our goal is to help provide housing that is reasonably adequate in standard and location for low-income households and that allows individuals and families to be able to sustainably meet other basic needs, such as food and clothing. Future initiatives may include advocacy at the City and Neighborhood Association levels, and possibly working with a local real estate developer to purchase an apartment building in the neighborhood in an effort to offer affordable housing in a very tangible way.