Acres of Hope is a long-term, faith-based residential renewal center for homeless women with children. It was formed in 2005 in response to statistics within Placer County regarding the growing number of homeless women with children. With start-up funding from generous donors, Acres leased and renovated an old motel in Applegate, CA and welcomed our first families in May, 2006. In May, 2012 we purchased 3.7 acres in Auburn, CA and relocated, replacing the old motel with new family cottages.
Our program is structured as:
Level 1: Orientation Introduces the women to our program and gives them an opportunity to understand program expectations. Individual Family Plans (IFPs) are prepared, which guide their learning goals.
Level 2: Curriculum Teaches the women new life skills such as how to respond vs. react, regulating thoughts and emotions, and conflict resolution. The women attend weekly AA meetings, gain a sponsor, and begin case management to work toward achieving their IFP goals.
Level 3: Preparation The women prepare to sustain their lives by going back to school and/or gaining employment. A relapse prevention program is included. The women begin developing healthy outside relationships so they have a network of support when they leave Acres.
Level 4: Continuation In the last months of living at Acres the women spend more time in the community at work and at school to practice their life skills with the safety net of returning home to Acres each day. After graduation, women can receive six months of after-care case management.
Acres has served more than 79 women and over 216 children. One of our goals is to reunify mothers and children that have been separated due to factors such as substance abuse. We have an 85% success rate in facilitating the return of children from foster care to their mothers at Acres.
Acres of Hope is a special place where lives are changed. Generally, our moms come from generational cycles of abuse, abandonment, addiction, neglect. Often, they were born to families that were at their best deeply dysfunctional and at their worst downright dangerous. For example, one of our moms was given alcohol as a baby by her own mother who did not want to hear her cry when she was teething, and so she became a child alcoholic. One of our moms was given drugs at an early age because her family thought it was funny to watch her get high, until she was raped at age eight at a family party. Given these traumatic experiences, no wonder these women fell into lifestyles of addiction as a way of coping with the pain of being uncared for and found themselves repeating destructive patterns.The moms who come to Acres are the ones who say, “No more; it stops here.” They come to Acres to break the cycle and provide a healthy life for their children. Sometimes the moms have custody of their children; sometimes their children are with a family member or in foster care.One of our primary goals at Acres is to work with the court and social services to reunify mothers and children. We have a good relationship with these entities, resulting in an 85% success rate in reunifying mothers and children. For example, one of our moms who came to Acres in November, 2012 was on the verge of losing parental rights to her young son and the court was preparing to adopt him out. Once at Acres, the judge chose to give her more time. A year later, at Christmas 2013, she received full custody and was commended by the Child Protective Services attorney for accomplishing the life change that was needed to regain her son!As a faith-based organization, one component of our program is teaching forgiveness. For our families, becoming a healthy person means letting go of past wounds; to no longer live under the burden of shame and blame, but to go forward with grace toward themselves and others. Because we teach the biblical principles of love, grace and forgiveness, we are not eligible to receive most public funding. We rely on the income from our thrift stores and our generous donors.Part of the success of Acres is the large number of business, service, community and church organizations that provide not just funding, but hands-on assistance by driving mothers to appointments, leading family activities at Acres, doing maintenance and donating supplies. Acres of Hope is only able to make a difference in the lives of our residents because of our faithful supporters.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
2012 was a pivotal year in the history of Acres of Hope. Due to the many individuals and organizations that responded so generously to the first phase of our capital campaign, we were able to realize the dream of purchasing a special parcel of land to become our new home.
In October 2012, Acres of Hope closed escrow on 3.7 acres in old Bowman, now part of Auburn, CA. The property is an ideal home for Acres because it preserves the retreat-like setting that is an important part of our community life. In addition, it offers three significant advantages:
Financial stability: Being owners, not tenants, is in the long-range financial best interest of Acres.
Access: The Bowman location offers greatly improved access to community services and employment opportunities for our moms.
Expansion: We can more effectively expand the program to serve a larger number of families.
The excitement about moving to this new land is contagious!
· The land acquisition was made possible by a loan from a private family foundation that is structured as matching gift: for each dollar of principal that we repay, a second dollar is forgiven!
· Every single one of the 13 cottages needed to open Village One was 100% paid for by sponsoring individuals and organizations.
· Gifts of time, talent and treasure were provided to renovate the old buildings on the property to be re-purposed for a community house and administration offices, and to replace the infrastructure for Village One: water, sewer, electrical…everything needed to provide safe and peaceful living for our families as they do the work to change their lives.
Because of the gifts given, we have been able to invest in creating the first phase of a community that supports our residents in their renewal process. We have more land to develop and more homes to add so we can serve more families; with your ongoing support we can touch the lives of women and children in need for years to come.
Copyright © 2014