It’s a casual gathering with free dinner on a week day night. It might seem simple, but Community Dinners in Hope Community are a special time for the residents, staff, and special guests to gather.
“For our residents, especially those overcoming substance use, community is an important part of their recovery,” says Sara Feasel, Director of Hope Community. “Community Dinners are a way for us to provide a healthy social activity for incoming, current, and former residents.”
In addition to a meal and fellowship, Community Dinners often include a speaker or an activity.
Last month, the ladies were joined by Christy Price and Vickie McIntosh with First Merchants Bank, and Realtor, Crystal Dunn. These professionals shared steps the ladies can take to prepare themselves for home ownership.
“We like talking about home ownership because finding housing can be a challenge for residents in transition. For some, owning their own home might feel like a distant reality for various personal reasons. Nevertheless, we firmly believe in encouraging and assisting them to overcome these hurdles and pursue their dreams,” says Sara.
The impact of these discussions was evident when, at the end of the session, a resident enthusiastically expressed, "This was awesome. I feel so encouraged!"
Along with helpful and practical advice, these gatherings provide the women with time to bond and sometimes reconnect with each other.
At another recent Community Dinner, the residents were joined by Hope Center supporter, Kristen Shaw. She donated flowers and plants, beautiful vases, and all the supplies needed to make beautiful flower arrangements for the residents to keep and enjoy.
“We have a lovely time of community fellowship,” says Rebekah Torzewski, Hope Community Transitional Coordinator. “Seeing their smiles as they carefully chose each flower and their pride in the beautiful arrangements they created was a heartwarming and rewarding experience.”
These dinners provide residents with support not only from staff and community members, but equally important, from peers who are navigating similar paths.
“At the same time, we're learning to make friends and depend on God for all we need,” said one of the ladies.
Hope Community and Hope Center Indy wish to thank Christy, Vickie, Crystal, and Kristen, for generously sharing their time and resources with our staff and residents. You are appreciated greatly!