Anonymous donor pays off women's shelter mortgage - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Anonymous donor pays off women's shelter mortgage


Back in 2010, we told you how The House of Hope, a women's shelter in Longview, had to temporarily shut down because they didn't have the  money to make emergency repairs.

That meant dozens of women had to go back to living on the streets until volunteers could scrape together the money to get the work done and reopen.

That's pretty much been the story at The House of Hope since it opened in 2006.  Money has always been tight, but that's not the case anymore.

We were there today as the folks at The House of Hope said a dramatic goodbye to their mortgage.

"It's just such a blessing to know that there's no more house note. It's ours. It belongs to....not me, it doesn't belong to me.  He paid it off for the community and for these women that have no place else to go," said shelter director Helen Johnson.

"We say 'Thank you Lord' to the donor as we break the chains of bondage from this note."

The women at The House of Hope can burn their mortgage papers because a donor paid off their entire loan.

"One hundred ten thousand, five hundred two dollars and 44 cents," Helen proclaimed.

Resident Bernita Brown said, "It means putting life back into myself. Where there was no hope now there is hope. Security. A place to eat and sleep. To lay my head and especially, a place where don't nobody tell me where to get out. If I didn't have The House of Hope, I could be dead and that's the honest God truth."

That is why they have one simple thing to say to the man who walked into a local bank and wiped out The House of Hope's debt.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart, the bottom of the women's hearts that live here and are going to live here in the future. Thank you!"

Helen Johnson did learn the donor's name, but he doesn't want anyone else to know who paid off the note. He will remain anonymous.

We do know that he is not from Longview, but he does live in East Texas.

Photojournalist Lynn Mitchell contributed to this story.



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