By Lauren Kuhn

Today, Harris would like to highlight a wonderful community organization: Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment (HOPE). HOPE is a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities live independently in stable housing. HOPE offers three different types of living situations: independent living, residential care, and College to Career.

In the first scenario, independent living, HOPE places people in houses or condos owned by HOPE. The residents pay no more than 30% of their income in rent, allowing them to live in nice housing without going broke while still having any money left over for other living expenses such as food. In the residential care option, designed for people who need more medical attention, residents live in a home environment and receive 24 hour support from licensed care providers. The College to Career option allows residents to experience a typical college living situation while they attend classes at a local community college in order to pursue their dreams.

One resident of HOPE homes, Vernon Andrews, recently moved into a home in Long Beach. Previously, Vernon lived independently in an apartment in Bellflower, partly paid for by his mother, for over 25 years. In 2016, the rent on the apartment finally reached a level that Vernon and his mother could not afford. After turning to HOPE, he was placed in a two-bedroom home in Long Beach, which he shares with another resident. Having a stable housing situation has allowed Vernon and his mother peace of mind. Vernon has been searching for a job as a maintenance worker, similar to what he did in Bellflower. He loves to go to the library and enjoys the garden in his new home.

Vernon Andrews

To find out more about HOPE, visit their website at www.hope-homes.org. Currently, HOPE relies on private donations and government grants and programs in order to continue to provide stable, affordable housing to its clients. If you are interested in making a donation to HOPE or another charity, Harris Financial can guide you through the process to ensure that you get the maximum value for your donation.