Since opening its doors in November, the New Hope Resource Center fulfilled its mission: Provide resources and hope to those experiencing homelessness in and around Puyallup.
The center serves around 50 people per day with food, coffee and water, available during the center’s normal operating hours. The center works with other organizations in the area to ensure those who are hungry are getting three meals a day.
“Our meals are brought in Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” New Hope manager Cheryl Borden said. “We looked at where other meals were being served around town and built our meal schedule on that.”
Without a homeless shelter in Puyallup, New Hope helps connect homeless adults to the resources they need to get back on their feet.
“When someone walks in, we help them develop a profile,” Borden said. “We look at what their needs are, the barriers to getting those needs met, and the biggest priorities.”
New Hope is essentially a one-stop shop for those experiencing homelessness; one place where they can come to work on getting the services they need.
“The program is really working,” said Borden, a 21-year resident of Puyallup. “It’s helping people get hooked up with the resources they need. They can use the phone to check status on jobs or on their housing.”
Most recently, some of New Hope’s clients are giving back to their community as a thank you for the donations and services they receive.
“We went and cleaned up garbage, tents, or anything else left by the homeless encampments along the River Walk Trail,” she said. “We pulled out over 500 cubic feet of garbage from the cleanup.”
According to Borden, many of her clients who are currently homeless are really working to keep Puyallup clean. With such a low percentage of the actual homeless population harming their community, many are working to change their bad reputation around town.
“That picture is not them,” she said. “They want to give their community a different picture of what it means to be homeless in Pierce County.”
Borden says her center is making a ton of progress for the homeless population in Puyallup, and the more the community finds out about it, the more community members are willing to help.
Currently, a staff of 40 volunteers help keep things running smoothly, but recruiting more volunteers means the center would have the potential to expand its operating hours, in turn serving more of the homeless population.
In May, the center purchased its current building located at 414 Spring Street, and is currently working to expand to the adjoining space to provide showers, laundry, and other essential needs to the homeless.
For more information on the New Hope Resource Center or to volunteer, visit tnhrc.org.