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November 10, 2012


I am a physician who has volunteered several hours a week at the Star of Hope for almost 12 years. I have practiced ophthalmology for over 32 years. Back in 2001, I decided to set up a free eye clinic to serve the homeless population in downtown Houston. Having good vision is essential to
starting on the path to a stable and productive life. I approached the Star of Hope Men's Development Center, which had just finished new construction. I brought my own equipment, and obtained an inventory of used glasses to distribute. Over the years, I have examined over 4300 people and given over 3300 pairs of glasses.

When I walk into the Star of Hope clinic at 8:30 AM each Wednesday morning, there is usually a group of ladies waiting, having been transported from the Women and Family Shelter and the Transitional Living Center. They have filled out their paperwork already, and are ready to be seen. The staff then calls for the residents of the Men's Development Center, who have signed up for the eye clinic in advance, and takes their individual medical histories. Work proceeds quickly, with the help of a volunteer optician. At the end of each complete eye exam, each patient has used glasses to help them immediately, a prescription to obtain free new glasses, and referral to the appropriate county medical facility if necessary. Over a three hour period, between 8 and 12 patients are generally seen. This past year, the eye clinic was renovated and received state-of-the-art equipment as a result of a grant obtained by the Star of Hope. Each homeless patient gets the type of care that private patients receive.

Over the years, I have diagnosed numerous cases of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, inflammatory eye diseases, and eye movement disorders. Cases of life-threatening brain tumor and retinal detachment have also been detected, with referral for urgent surgery.

I have found the work to be very gratifying. Even the most depressed patients become elated when they can see. But this type of outreach could never have been accomplished without the excellent facilities and dedicated and compassionate staff of the Star of Hope.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

August 29, 2012

As a volunteer that has coordinated and delivered training to the leaders of Star of Hope, I have witnessed the gracious and heartfelt dedication that these people have to ending homelessness for their clients. I have had the opportunity to attend some of their nightly worship services with the clients housed at the men's mission, and I have been truly moved at the transformation and hope that SOH provides to the people they serve. Their God-centered approach to clients, and each other, make this a truly exceptional organzation that serves groups of people often forgotten by so many of us. It has been a blessing to be involved with them.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 20, 2012

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March 20, 2012

I have been a Star of Hope volunteer and donor for almost 20 years. I continue to support this life changing organization because I have observed first hand the faith based recovery programs offered to men and women who had all but given up on life. Star of Hope gives them a second chance and the tools to achieve a more productive and independent life. I work with the children at their Transitional Living Center - teaching dance and coordination. In addition, several times a year my Cookie Joe's Dancin" School will produce a benefit performance or concert for the mission. Over the years we have given over $50,000 to the organization. We are able to designate our donations to specifically help the homeless children. The interior of the Place of Grace at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter is funded by our efforts and evidence of all donations is obvious in the quality of care and services. I notice that more and more families are showing up at the shelters and the need for care is growing. I encourage everyone to support this wonderful mission.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Observing services and progams that work to change lives and futures.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

My work at Star of Hope validates my faith

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Fulfilled

April 29, 2011

Over the course of the last twelve years I have served as a GED tutor, warehouse worker, food preparation worker, and personal development instructor for Star of Hope. I have personally witnessed many lives changed as a result of this miraculous organization. Their programs are Christ-centered, well organized, efficiently managed, and the content is highly relevant to a productive Christian life. The staff of the Star of Hope are extremely compassionate and deeply concerned for the wellbeing and success of their clients. This organization is a true blessing to the less fortunate people of the Houston area.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally witnessed many lives changed as a result of this miraculous organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not make a change.

April 27, 2011

I volunteer four days a week at the Star of Hope Women and Families Shelter. My work involves daily contact with our guests, helping them find the services they need to move out of homelessness, to jobs that will sustain households and to living circumstances that will restore dignity and health. So many of our guests are discouraged and broken when they arrive, but as little as two weeks of love, acceptance, encouragement, and motivation will see them praising God that they were led to the Star of Hope--and then the staff can really work with them.

Here's a couple of illustrations of how we can help our guests. One afternoon, a guest came to me with an urgent need to find a suitable apartment. She had arranged for a housing subsidy, through the Rapid Re-housing Program, but the small house she had thought would qualify turned out at the last minute to be in a really bad neighborhood. She had to let it go. Now it was nearly 4:00, and she had to find a place by 8:00 am, or she would lose the money. We sat down together at my computer, quickly identified four potential places that had good potential, and she had a lease by dinner time [the Lord helped with the transportation]. She secured her money from the RRP, and moved out of the shelter by the end of that week.
In the Family Services department, where I work, we are talk to listen to our guests' stories. This often helps more than offering advice. A listening ear and a prayer can bring peace and encouragement to a mother who has found herself homeless. People often enter the shelter distressed. The trick is to relieve the stress, without removing the motivation to move on, back to a self-supporting life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

devote more resources to the Family Services casemanagement area, so that each Family Service Worker has fewer families to tend, and more time for the harder, time-consuming cases. I would also continue the Star of Hope's efforts to provide more, longer-term, transitional living units.

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