LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas women's shelter is expanding in an effort to reach more people in need. This week, The House of Hope will pour the foundation for a new bathroom building. This add-on will allow the shelter to house 40 additional women. The women at House of Hope will leave their mark on the new building before the concrete is poured.
It marks a new beginning for The House of Hope. The shelter has served more than 3,000 East Texas women.
"I came, and I laid the foundation of what House of Hope was, and now am laying a foundation of what House of Hope is going to become," said House of Hope founder Sister Helen Johnson.
Before the foundation for the new bathroom facility is laid, House of Hope residents are writing messages to women that will follow in their footsteps.
"Show someone else what they've learned. The blessings that they have learned since they have been in this house," said Sister Johnson.
Monday, each woman worked on her own letter. The messages will be sealed in plastic and placed underneath the concrete foundation with the hope that another person will be inspired by the words inside.
"Whoever finds this, be blessed abundantly with strength and peace," resident Debbie Roark said.
"It says, 'To whoever receives this, bless you and live and act in Jesus Christ, amen,'" resident Jeane Suitt said.
Suitt said the shelter has freed her from a dark past, and she wants her story to inspire other women.
"When they read these, it could be ten years from now, it could be 100 years from now, that this will inspire them and to know that we are watching over them. And that we are there, maybe in spirit, but we are there," Suitt said.
It's a new beginning for the shelter and a glimpse of hope for women in the future.