WAXAHACHIE — Providing assimilating programs and a transitory home for those in desperate need, Haven of Hope for Women’s shelter is answering the silent cry for help in Ellis County.
“We as women, it’s so easy to think that everything is at a loss when your husband or boyfriend leaves you, or you’ve lost your job. But with God, all things are possible, and that’s what it’s about - encouraging one another and lifting each other up,” expressed Kimberly Malone, Director of the Haven of Hope for Women.
Conceived out of Angels Walking By Faith Ministries in July 2016, the shelter’s name was later changed to Haven of Hope for Women, specifically serving impoverished and displaced women and children of Ellis County.
“It was a vision God had given me to help people, because I started seeing homeless people living under bridges, in parks, sleeping in the bathrooms, and they had their children with them as well. My heart filled with compassion and I ventured out, and we started this homeless shelter,” Malone explained.
One of Malone’s earlier projects that continue alongside the shelter today is feeding those who go hungry every week. Supplying over 72 families with meals during Thanksgiving, 70 families during Christmas, and giving stockings stuffed with gifts to nearly 65 nursing homes residents, the need for a shelter became more evident to Malone.
Sponsored by Power Radio, Malone began the shelter in partnership with facility owner and executive director J. David Ford through what she says was “a God encounter.”
“I was about to give up, and I asked God, ‘Am I wasting your time?’ And not 15 minutes later, the phone rang, and it was David Ford,” Malone chuckled. “Nobody but God could do that.”
As Ford supplied the facility, a repurposed nursing home, Malone provided the vision, and together the dream took flight.
“I was just so happy to get in there and get this shelter off the ground and going,” Malone described.
The temporary housing will serve as a “safety net” for women who have lost their jobs, child support, or homes due to eviction or financial strain.
“We want to help families that don’t have anything,” Malone expressed.
With a limit of a 60-day assistance period, Haven of Hope for Women is not to be confused with a halfway house for substance abuse, but a place that empowers women to regain their independence during hardships.
The center is also not limited to only feeding and housing residents, but also strives to teach them how to reestablish back into the community through financial management, GED completion, and employment placement.
“We’re going to teach them how to manage, educate them on bills and how to get a job, encourage them, and basically whatever they need to get back on their feet,” Malone affirmed.
In addition to rehabilitating and relocating struggling women, the home will also provide the international Bible training program, More Than Conquerors School of Theology.
Although the need is great and Malone and Ford are willing, the shelter is in need of donations and volunteers.
“We want it to look homely when they come in, so it doesn’t look like a nursing home. We need carpet, furniture, decorations, paint, and the list goes on,” Malone itemized.
With their grand opening set for May 15, the shelter needs 16 bunk beds, carpet and paint, 32 dressers, toilets, 18 lamps, towels and linens, wall hangings, food, and toiletries.
“If they bring the carpet, I’ll put it in,” Malone assured with a laugh. “I’m a hands-on person, and I’ve been cleaning the building to help prepare for these women and children since we got it.”
Through a fully functioning facility with a commercial kitchen for the feeding programs, a prayer garden outside, and accommodations to house residents, Malone and Ford urge the community to get involved and help those who have nothing.
“We need all the help we can get because these lives matter and they’re worth it,” Malone finished with a smile.
To donate or volunteer with Haven of Hope for Women, visit havenofhopeforwomen.org, or call (972)-876-3211. Checks can be made payable to “Haven of Hope For Women” and mailed to P.O. Box 8407 Ennis, Texas, 75120.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer