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FRIDAY FOCUS – Loisann’s Hope House

During the winter months, we are especially grateful for amazing organizations such as Loisann’s Hope House that help provide shelter for those in need. Loisann’s Hope House doesn’t just provide shelter though - they work tirelessly to quickly move children and their families from homelessness to permanent housing. Their program offers educational support, services, training, placement and so much more to give people the boost they need for a better quality of life. In this week’s Friday Focus we spoke to Lisa Crittenden, Chief Executive Director of Loisann’s Hope House and learned about her favorite moment and great ways to get involved.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
Loisann’s Hope House provides a safe place for homeless children and their families. With more than thirty years in the Rappahannock region as the first homeless and largest family shelter in our community, Loisann’s Hope House has helped to transform the lives of over a thousand families. 
Our Adult Services program is focused on providing permanent solutions—housing, jobs, transportation and childcare needs—so that people can break the cycle of homelessness and become stable and productive citizens. Our emphasis is placed on employment and increased income. Clients enter the program and a comprehensive assessment is conducted immediately to understand what is needed in addition to shelter. At this time clients may require education, job training, transportation, mental health services, parenting support and childcare.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
Anne's assets are limited. She was homeless with nowhere to go. She had lost her job and did not have enough income to sustain her family. She entered into Loisann's Hope House as an unemployed mother of two who was recently evicted due to nonpayment caused by loss of employment.
Once Anne entered into Loisann’s Hope House, things began to change for her. When her concerns were no longer about where she was going to sleep with her children at night, she was able to focus on how to get out of the situation of homelessness. She focused on two specific goals: 1) the first goal was employment, and 2) the second goal was housing. Anne was encouraged and assisted with building a new resume and completing job applications. Two weeks into her goal setting, Anne was transported to a job fair at a local company. After completing the application, she was interviewed and immediately hired. Anne was successful in reaching her first goal.
Anne went through training at Loisann’s Hope House in financial budgeting, career readiness, self-esteem and participated in her weekly case management meetings. Anne and her family were able to transition from Loisann’s Hope House’s emergency shelter to her own apartment through the Rapid Rehousing Program.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Loisann’s Hope House biggest challenge is placing families in housing and raising dollars to do so. Our House a Family Initiative focuses on our community to provide a gift of hope. $3,500 provides housing stability for a family of four. The costs include security deposit and 1st month rent, plus continued support.
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
This spring (April) Loisann’s Hope House will host its Bags of Hope event.  Guests will have an opportunity to bid on through a silent and live auction on lightly used or new designer handbags. The last Bags of Hope had over 250 bags to select from.  Interested in supporting this great event? Loisann’s Hope House is currently accepting all lightly used or new designer handbags of all types.
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
Loisann’s Hope House has great opportunities to volunteer or serve in various capacities.  If interested in volunteering, please complete the volunteer application on our website loisannshopehouse.org or drop by the Hope House office at 902 Lafayette Blvd in Fredericksburg.
We love to host groups that can work on projects. Contact us if interested
We are always in need of items for the shelter: paper towels, toilet tissue, garbage bags, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Feel free to call the office to ask what our needs are.  Host a supply drive.