I have been an intern at Door of Hope this summer. I am currently getting my masters at Fuller Theological Seminary in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis on Children at Risk. As part of my practicum, I chose to work at Door of Hope when I heard about their successful developmental model of equipping homeless families to rebuild their lives. I was yearning to gain knowledge in how to effectively assist the homeless population, and Door of Hope seemed to be a great place to begin! I did not have many expectations coming into the organization other than I was yearning to serve, learn, and observe, but little did I know I was walking into a family rather than just a place of work.
The first thing that struck me about Door of Hope was the nature of the organization; especially the staff. I never expected the staff to be as loving, willing, and caring as they are to each person in the house. I have been blown away by their kindness to each other, the residents, and myself. Their selflessness is reflected merely in the way they choose to work. If you didn’t already know, Door of Hope staff resides in offices smaller than most closets so that they will have more rooms to house families. They are flexible and adaptable to this work environment because they humbly strive to put these families above a comfortable workplace. I realized how easy it would be for the staff to do their jobs at a minimum; lacking care for others and those they serve, yet every face that walks in the door is immediately loved no matter their story. Families are given a voice, encouraged to achieve goals, and supported as they navigate life.
This isn’t just a place to call home; it is a place that ignites passion in individuals and provides second chances when all hope seems lost. Nevertheless, the uniqueness of this place is palpable in the honesty and realness of their constant movement toward improvement. They are never settling or satisfied, always asking how to love more, help more efficiently, and dedicated to praying for those they serve.
The name truly reflects the place. It is not just a place of hope; it is a place of healing, of equipping, and a place where Christ’s love evidently dwells. Door of Hope is where families experience the love of Christ in a way they may have never known existed. It is where the joys of life are celebrated, and the sorrows are experienced within a community that promises you are never alone. Christ is the center and drive for all they do, yet it is not an obligation or place of conversion, rather a place where families are invited into faith in Christ, and offered a richer life through the display of His unconditional love.
So often we are paralyzed in our knowledge of how to best serve others, and so often we complicate it. Door of Hope recognizes the potential in others and assists families in finding the deepest parts of their heart and asks them to lean into that desire and watch as it grows. Door of Hope is a place of guidance and acceptance. They ask the people entrusted to their care to lean in and learn as they guide, with truth and love.
As Meredith Andrews beautifully composed, 'After all, You are constant. After all, You are only good. After all, You are sovereign. Not for a moment will You forsake me.' This is the trust and faith this organization exudes as they empower individuals. Residents are given a voice, reminded of their value, and encouraged that their unique skills and gifts are precious and essential for the betterment of this world.
As my internship comes to a close, I leave with a heart full of gratefulness, trusting that in a fallen world such as this, goodness remains, and there are many treasures such as Door of Hope to be found.