Hope House in the works in Paris, Illinois

Hopes and Dreams in Paris, Illinois is looking to create a “Hope House”.

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 4:52 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 6:25 PM

PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - Homelessness is a problem in many communities.

But an organization called Hopes and Dreams in Paris, Illinois is looking to create a “Hope House”.

Austin Porter, a student helped by the Bridges Program and Hopes and Dreams, and Beth Hansel of the Regional Office of Education and Hopes and Dreams, talking at Austin's new apartment in Paris, Illinois. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)

Paris teen Austin Porter is one young man who’s been touched by the organization. He’s faced many challenges in his first 19 years of life.

Porter recalls, "When I had my first job, I was the one paying for the bills. Checks were only like $150, so we had to choose, ‘Do we want electricity this month or water this month?’"

Porter grew up in a home with several siblings, parents struggling with drug addiction, and a lack of basic necessities.

He says, "I wasn't going to school at all. I was pretty disrespectful back then."

But a major turning point for Porter was him joining the safe school program called Bridges.

Porter says, "First thing they did was get me to a place where I had necessities so I could focus on school and all that. After a while with a lot of effort from them, they molded me into somebody who wanted to work hard."

Porter and others in Bridges have been touched by Hopes and Dreams. Both programs aim to help students take control of their lives.

Regional Office of Education Attendance Specialist, Beth Hansel says, "We have about 10 students who we've put into apartment settings. So in that situation they have actually been able to pay their own rent while working and going to high school. So that's a lot of adult responsibilities in addition to trying to be a kid."

Hansel is affiliated with Hopes and Dreams, and wants to create a "hope house" and safe teen hangout. The goal is to help teens like Austin focus on school instead of trying to fulfill their basic needs.

Hansel says, "When you don't have a place to stay, you just feel unsafe. You feel unsecure. You feel like you don't mean anything. We would like to be able to provide a place for students who are 15, 16, 17, and going to school to be able to stay without having to work full time."

The "hope house" would be a 16-bed facility for teens, set up similar to a dorm. Hansel says they would also like to provide teens a place to get a shower, do laundry, and have homework help.

Organizers say they're close to securing their 501c3 charity status. They say that should open the door to a potential location for the shelter, and they would like to open with the year.

However, the organization says it needs volunteers and monetary donations to sustain the “Hope House”. The organization is looking to partner with individuals, churches, or other organizations.

Organizer Beth Hansel says the best way to reach out about volunteer or donation opportunities is messaging Hopes and Dreams on Facebook. You can find the organization’s page by clicking here.

If contact by phone is your only option, you can contact Beth at 217-251-5712.

Terre Haute
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Robinson
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 47°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 52°
Rockville
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 49°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Brazil
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Marshall
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
More Clouds Overnight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1343875

Reported Deaths: 24410
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook5380959996
DuPage893431270
Will74435981
Lake66368977
Kane57580768
Winnebago32526469
Madison30250518
McHenry28156284
St. Clair27650510
Peoria22686297
Champaign20373144
Sangamon18437233
McLean17818175
Tazewell16675277
Rock Island14720306
Kankakee13954207
Kendall1282791
LaSalle12286239
Macon10575194
DeKalb9728119
Vermilion9366131
Adams8345120
Williamson7340128
Whiteside7100166
Boone661671
Ogle601480
Grundy579771
Clinton574190
Coles564494
Knox5484139
Jackson495663
Henry487963
Livingston475184
Effingham470672
Stephenson466881
Macoupin466081
Woodford465474
Marion4447115
Franklin439872
Monroe434791
Jefferson4232119
Randolph411984
Lee410552
Morgan384180
Fulton382251
Logan381657
Montgomery368773
Bureau365882
Christian362073
Fayette315855
Perry314159
Iroquois296465
McDonough276345
Jersey268349
Douglas257435
Saline255153
Lawrence239925
Shelby227737
Union224240
Crawford210826
Bond201924
Cass197524
Jo Daviess179824
Pike178451
Clark178032
Warren177846
Wayne175852
Ford175446
Hancock174231
Richland173640
Carroll173536
White168726
Edgar168339
Washington163525
Moultrie159726
Clay148243
Mason147944
Piatt145814
De Witt145424
Mercer143833
Greene143233
Johnson141214
Wabash134212
Massac132940
Cumberland128819
Menard121512
Jasper114818
Marshall103218
Hamilton82915
Schuyler7305
Brown6996
Pulaski6837
Stark63023
Edwards56712
Henderson52214
Calhoun5152
Scott4761
Putnam4733
Alexander46511
Gallatin4574
Hardin38312
Pope3144
Out of IL70
Unassigned02344

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 724214

Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion989071736
Lake53172962
Allen40223675
Hamilton35354408
St. Joseph35270550
Elkhart28228437
Tippecanoe22297217
Vanderburgh22231396
Porter18560304
Johnson17832376
Hendricks17098313
Clark12897191
Madison12519339
Vigo12379244
Monroe11811168
LaPorte11691210
Delaware10571185
Howard9823215
Kosciusko9347117
Hancock8204139
Bartholomew8036155
Warrick7754155
Floyd7630176
Wayne7002198
Grant6986174
Boone6652101
Morgan6529139
Dubois6139117
Marshall5954111
Dearborn577177
Cass5769105
Henry5671102
Noble555783
Jackson499672
Shelby488196
Lawrence4470120
Gibson433791
Harrison432972
Clinton426353
DeKalb423284
Montgomery423088
Whitley392739
Huntington386380
Steuben381057
Miami379165
Knox370990
Jasper361347
Putnam357760
Wabash352478
Adams340354
Ripley338370
Jefferson328481
White312254
Daviess294399
Wells290281
Decatur282992
Fayette278362
Greene276085
Posey270733
Scott264453
LaGrange263870
Clay258945
Randolph239581
Washington239131
Spencer230431
Jennings228848
Starke213252
Fountain211846
Sullivan210442
Owen195856
Fulton194240
Jay190429
Carroll187820
Perry182537
Orange181854
Rush172625
Vermillion167643
Franklin167235
Tipton161945
Parke145416
Blackford134332
Pike132634
Pulaski115945
Newton106734
Brown101441
Crawford99014
Benton98114
Martin87415
Warren80515
Switzerland7808
Union70610
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413