Hope House of Colorado empowers parenting teen moms to strive for personal and economic self-sufficiency and to understand their significance in God's sight, resulting in a healthy future for their children.
Hungry and homeless: these are real issues for teenage mothers living in our community. In fact, 67% of teen moms live below the poverty line -- which came as a surprise to our local founders over a decade ago.
Hope House of Colorado began when the founders, two former teen moms themselves, recognized that because 67% of teen moms live below the Federal poverty line, they are a particularly vulnerable population that is often overlooked. The challenges these economically disadvantaged teens face are significant:
• Less than 50% of teen moms will graduate from high school;
• Fewer than 2% will ever earn a college degree;
• In Colorado, a teen mom must work 110 hours per week at minimum wage to earn enough annual income to meet basic needs without public assistance
Hope House opened its Residential Program in 2003 in Arvada. To date, this program has served 130 formerly homeless or at-risk teen moms and their children with a high rate of success among program graduates: 90 percent of graduates have achieved basic levels of self-sufficiency.
Demand for services for teen moms increased every year, with staff receiving approximately 150 crisis calls annually from teen moms and service providers. In response, we launched our Community Program initiative in 2007, which included a GED Program, and supportive services such as healthy relationships classes, parenting classes, certified counseling, life skills classes, job readiness workshops and community building activities.
In 2012, we opened our Resource Center in Westminster, moving all Community Programs, including our GED Program, to this new location; the house in Arvada now hosts the Residential Program only and is thus able to offer housing to more teen moms and their children. In 2013 we launched a College & Career Support Program, offering practical support and resources to teen moms in college or entering the workforce. In 2014 we opened an Early Learning Program for the children of Hope House teen moms.
Currently Hope House is building a new Resource Center that will allow us to triple the number of teen moms we serve annually. The building is projected to open in Spring 2019.
All Hope House programs were modeled after other historically-proven programs, including The Gathering Place; Denver Rescue Mission's Champa House, Second Chance Homes, and Save Our Youth.
Ariel wanted to create a different future for her daughter and break the vicious cycle of poverty that had defined hero own childhood. She just needed the tools and the opportunity.
Because Ariel had dropped out of school, she started with the GED Program at Hope House.
"The moment I passed my GED test, I felt so empowered. I knew I could achieve anything after that!," says Ariel, who went on to graduate from the Hope House Residential Program.
Ariel was right... today she has her own apartment and she owns her own vehicle -- no monthly payments! As a graduate, Ariel is a true inspiration to the teen moms who are working hard at Hope House today!