Star of Hope Kicks Off Centennial Celebration

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and to give to others who have not been as fortunate. The Star of Hope is taking time out of this holiday season to kick off a year long centennial celebration. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports.

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The Star of Hope kicked off a year long centennial celebration with the Houston Ballet tree lighting ceremony attended by Houston Mayor Bill White...

"I love this celebration where we can celebrate great works of art, look forward to a holiday season and remember those in need. There are almost one-thousand men, women and children each day who receive food, clothing and shelter from the Star of Hope. Star of Hope is coming on its 100 anniversary where it's lifted up five million lives of people who just needed a helping hand."

Star of Hope Development Vice President Kathy Tabor says as many as 300 of the people they serve daily may be children. Tabor says the services provided have changed over the 100 year history of the Star of Hope because the homeless have changed.

"It started with outreach to single men and now we take care of women and children. As a matter of fact that's our largest population taking care of women and children. What's stayed the same is our foundation, our Christian belief. We still believe that God is the one that changes lives, has the power to change lives."

The Star of Hope provides a wide range of services from substance abuse programs to computer training.

"We'll help them not think about a survival job where they are getting minimum wage, but a plan, including education, so that they can enough money so they won't return to the situation."

Tabor says two of the biggest challenges for the homeless to stay off the streets once they've gone through Star of Hope services are finding affordable housing and child care.

"Star of Hope in our future plans is looking at purchasing and managing our own apartments so that we can have a place that is safe and provides some child care and some other amenities to give them that extra boost. Because if we send them back to same area they came from, they may end up in the same situation they were before they came."

Tabor says discussion about this idea will be going on during the next year as the group celebrates 100 years of service in Houston. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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