Addressing homelessness

Staff Writer

Featured Match Day participant

Hancock Hope House

Executive director: Carl Denny


Hancock Hope House provides hope to the community while strengthening individuals and families on their journey to self-sufficiency.

Organization highlights

There is a problem in Hancock County where men, women and children are homeless and have no place to call home. Hancock Hope House provides shelter to these homeless people, providing them with a safe and secure place to lay their head down at night. In 2014, Hancock Hope House provided nearly 4,000 nights of shelter to the homeless. The effect Hancock Hope House has on the homeless is providing them a higher quality of life, safety, security and a sense of dignity. The responsible parties are those who support Hancock Hope House, organizations such as local churches, businesses and individual contributors.

Children who are homeless often do not receive adequate education, leaving them at a disadvantage to their peers. Hancock Hope House requires each parent to enroll his or her children into local schools so that the children do receive the needed education to succeed in life. The impact of Hancock Hope House requiring active enrollment in local schools is the children who are homeless and staying at Hancock Hope House will receive the same education as their peers. Several children staying with there now have been making the A honor roll and winning student of the month awards. The responsible parties are the local social workers at the schools and the mentors and tutors who come to Hancock Hope House on a weekly basis to spend time with the disadvantaged children.

Homeless individuals typically lack structure needed to be self-sufficient. Hancock Hope House provides the needed structure to homeless people to teach them the skills they need to be self-sufficient. The groups does this with a structured program and environment that encourages guests to maintain regular employment, save at least 75 percent of their income and conduct chores throughout the facility to keep the facility clean. These programs impact and benefit the homeless by showing them that a structured life is something that will allow them to succeed in the long run. The responsible parties are employers who give the homeless a chance to prove themselves as well as the homeless who embrace the structure that is provided.

Match Day funding plans:

The grant that Hancock Hope House receives for immediate use will be applied toward the continued support of the homeless in the community. The shelter is about 16,000 square feet, and the overhead to operate the facility is costly. The group will consider adding programs for guests that would benefit them and their children. There is a possibility that the men’s dorm will be expanded to accommodate an additional 10 people.

The grant to grow the endowment plays a key role in Hancock Hope House’s ability to carry out its mission for generations to come. Because the principal of the endowment remains untouched for all time, the fund provides an ongoing stream of revenue to support the organization’s day-to-day operations and services now and far into the future.

About Match Day

Match Day, sponsored by the Hancock County Community Foundation, is a day-long fundraising event benefiting 12 local nonprofits. Between now and July 24 (Match Day), we’ll feature these nonprofits and highlight their offerings in the community.

Donations made on Match Day, July 24, will be matched two ways:

1) Every community gift received during the 24-hour period will be matched by funds from a community foundation pool of $80,000, which will go toward the organizations’ immediate needs. How much of that pool is received is proportional to how much the organization raises on Match Day.

2) All community gifts will also be endowed and matched 50 cents on the dollar, up to $7,500 per organization, from a $90,000 grant pool from the Lilly Endowment. This means each organization’s goal is to raise $15,000 in order to receive the entire $7,500 match.

All Match Day contributions must be made on July 24 in order to be counted as part of the campaign. Individuals may make online contributions at They can make a gift by cash, check (dated July 24) or credit card at the foundation office or by phone. Gifts via mail will be accepted only if postmarked July 24.

About the Hancock County Community Foundation

The Hancock County Community Foundation works with individuals, families and organizations to create or grow existing permanent funds called endowments. These funds generate income that is distributed in the form of grants and scholarships to enrich and enhance life in Hancock County, as well as support the donor’s favorite charitable causes, both at home and afar, forever. The foundation has granted more than $10 million since its inception in 1992.