Ed and I became involved with Housing Hope when we were invited to attend the East County Community of Hope Dinner in 2005. We were impressed with the organization and its program from that very first experience. After very rewarding careers as public school educators, we were excited to find a cause that supported families, especially families with children. We both knew that children need a stable living environment as the cornerstone to benefit from their education. After a few years, we agreed to serve as hosts for our own table. The friends we introduced to Housing Hope were also very impressed with the program.
Ed passed away in 2013 and one of his parting words to me was to find something that I could be passionate about. In January 2014, I was invited to become a member of the Monroe Family Village Steering Committee and then the East County Steering Committee. Serving on these two committees has shown me that our initial assessment of the work of Housing Hope was very conservative. The staff and other community volunteers take money and multiply it by wringing every bit of good from every dime donated. It has truly become that organization that I am passionate about.
Earlier this year , I had the opportunity to attend the key ceremony for a group of families who had completed their homes in Monroe. This was the time when they received the keys to their homes. I so touched by what I observed. It was not neighborhood of beautiful new homes but it was families who had spent the last seventeen months working together to build those homes. They were a neighborhood, they were best friends, even before any of them had spent one night living in those homes. I don’t think I will ever forget the looks on the faces of the children. That’s what it is all about and that’s why I am committed to doing whatever I can to support Housing Hope.
- Chris Gray