Hope in the Time of Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a horrendous human and economic toll on our society and on our economy.
No aspects of our society and economy have been spared. The charity and non-profit sectors have been especially hard-hit and this at a time when the essential functions these organizations provide to the poor, the hungry, the sick and the dying are needed more than ever.
Already in early April when “only” 10 million Americans were out of work, when there were “only” 350,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and when there were “only” 10,000 coronavirus deaths in America, predictions for the charity sector were dire.
Already then, it was predicted that, “for charitable organizations, the coronavirus crisis could be even more catastrophic than the Great Recession was.”
Another publication called the coronavirus crisis “a perfect storm for charities.”
Sadly, those predictions are coming true as the pandemic continues and intensifies.
There are several reasons for the crisis these organizations find themselves in. Among them:
• The fact that businesses and individuals who have been the usual source of donations and financial support are foregoing making charitable contributions because of their own financial situations.
• The additional factors that so many of the staff and volunteers at such charitable organizations have themselves become victims of the virus or could be at risk.
• The difficulty of running fundraising events and the rising costs of staffing, protecting staff and clients, purchasing food and supplies and of the day-to-day running of such facilities.
A recent survey on the impact of coronavirus on 110 mid-sized nonprofit organizations — 62% of which were organizations providing “human services” — clearly revealed the devastating effect the pandemic is having on such organizations.
It is also the hard reality for the Hope House, in Liberty Hill, Texas, whose mission is “To provide a long term, ‘Forever Home,’ to the most severe cases of mental health and physical disability in a loving, Christian family environment where our residents can live as normal a life as possible for as long as they need us.”
We have highlighted the compassionate mission of this wonderful organization in the past and some of our readers have contributed.
When I first wrote about the Hope House four years ago in “Hope House Austin Is Where the Heart Is,” I described it as a community based, non-profit organization serving as a residential facility and “Forever Home” to children and adults with severe to profound intellectual developmental delays and physical disabilities.
At the time, Hope House had 29 residents: 15 adults and 14 children.
Some were placed at Hope House as toddlers by parents and family members who could no longer — financially, emotionally, or medically — take care of them in the manner their disabilities require.
Today, Hope House has four homes throughout Liberty Hill and 35 residents who are taken care by 54 full-time staff members providing 24-7 care to the residents who, because of the severity of the disabilities, require such.
Some of the children who came to Hope House in the mid-1960s are still living there – now in their late 50s.
Hope House Development Director Erland Schulze, in an interview with Liberty Hill’s The Independent says:
Many of the children who came in during the 60s are still living at Hope house today. One of the unique things about Hope House is that it is a long-term forever home for these special people. We keep these beds open for as long as they need us, and we become their family.
The additional number of residents and burdens posed by the pandemic have placed Hope House in an almost untenable financial situation.
For the past three years, Shelly Wilkerson, editor of The Liberty Hill Independent has organized a “Day of Giving” to support the town’s charitable organizations.
This year, Hope House was hoping to raise $10,000 to cover repairs and replace several essential items.
Because of the pandemic, however, Hope House now just hopes to raise enough money to “support residents, pay staff and sustain a high standard.”
Again, Schulze in The Independent:
We have some rigid standards we have to follow, so sanitizers are in critical demand. The other issue we face is a 30 percent increase in our costs. We’ve seen them skyrocket with supplies and with salaries. We had these ideas about what we would like to use this money for, but at this particular time, I’m hoping people will consider helping us to sustain the residents.
Won’t you once again give hope to Hope House in this time of extreme need?
If you would like to donate, please use this link.