Hope House making a difference in the community

Group continues outreach programs with successful 2015

By John Rech news@theeveningtimes.com

Many people found hope for the holidays with food baskets from Hope House Ministries. Operating out of the Taylor Sudden Services building where the Seventh Street Extension turns into AFCO road at Highway 77 in West Memphis, a record number of area residents in need of food, clothing and the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ found relief during 2015. Hope House runs many streams of ministry. A woman’s shelter and ministering to women at the county jail were the first cornerstones laid by Founder and Director Mary Gibbs of West Memphis. 945 women attended Sunday services in the E-W wing at the county detention center. 480 one on one meetings with prisoners after services led to 112 professions faith in Christ, with 266 copies of The Holy Bible distributed. 43 women were given a ride from the jail back home to loved ones. Eight homeless women were provided an overnight stay in a motel and the group paid for six bus tickets. 2,643 overnights were registered by women at the Hope House in Sunset. “When we started there was no place for a battered woman in the county expect a holding cell at the jail,” said Gibbs. “So that’s where we started, right there at the jail with Sunday services and confidentially located shelter aimed at reducing recidivism.” After coming off a banner year in 2014 when Hope House was named agency of the year by the Memphis Mid-South Food Bank the ministry continued to expand. Hope House gives food away to thousands of people through their mobile food pantry every eight weeks. Cars lined up down Polk street and circled north up Marianna stemming from the Marion First parking lot where Hope House volunteers handed sacks filled with groceries to qualified recipients. The ministry also distributed USDA surplus when available and continued to be a resource for pastor referring those in need. All in all 16,428 people were supplied with food and clothing, 4,275 of those senior adults on fixed income. 146 children received Christmas toys from the group. Turkeys, and holiday hams were boxed with all the dinner fixings for 147 households. “Everybody that comes into the place hears about Jesus,” said Gibbs. “It is our continued privilege to share the love of Jesus while meeting the needs of our neighbors.”


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