Brooke and I had the honor and the privilege to attend the annual dinner for Houston's Star of Hope mission tonight. As a bonus, Michael W Smith performed after dinner! Star of Hope is the nation's largest privately funded outreach to the homeless. The donations of both time and money, by many generous people, help to make a real difference in the lives of real people facing a variety of real challenges.
Star of Hope proves that the needs of thousands (and growing) of homeless people can be addressed without the requirement for government assistance.
Here are just a few statistics about the homeless just in Houston alone:
- At any point in time there are 13,500 homeless people in Houston
- There are 11,000 homeless children attending the public schools
- Homeless families in Houston doubled in numbers between 2009 and 2010
- The number of homeless individuals rose 25% in 2011 over 2010
And here is just a sample of what the Star of Hope has done to change lives:
- Served 1,028 people per day in 2011
- Provided 310,585 stays
- Offered 615,068 meals
- Served 9,276 homeless people on the streets of Houston and 6,855 in their programs
- Saw 1,063 adults achieve independent living
- Served 280 children per day who were living with their families
- Helped 322 adults find new jobs
- Graduated 397 adults from their long term recovery programs
It is truly amazing, but the needs are enormous and on-going; and sadly they will be always. We feel blessed to be a part of this outstanding charity and even more thankful for the lives that we currently live - in a home, with daily meals and showers, cars to transport us and a job to sustain us. May there always be people who want to help those who are less fortunate!
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