LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It's been the salvation of hundreds of East Texas women over the years. The House of Hope shelter in Longview is now trying desperately not to lose hope knowing it will soon lose its shelter.
The stories of House of Hope women are heart-wrenching.
"When I came here, I was abused, and they just welcomed me as family is what they did," said shelter resident June Herold of Chicago.
"I'm from Shreveport, Louisiana," said shelter resident Yvette Webb. "I used to sleep in abandoned houses, but when I came here God gave me hope." For three years, Helen Johnson, the founder and once homeless herself, has helped abused and homeless women at House of Hope.
"It's been an awesome experience," said Johnson. "It's been an awesome growth time spiritually." The landowner has told Johnson, their lease will not be renewed. Funding is a problem, most going to food and bills. The women have shelter there, their meals are taken care of, but more importantly their spiritual well being. Time, however, is working against them. They have two months to find a solution.
"Right now, we need a place where we can sleep 75 women, you know, it's difficult when you move one family, but when you moved 52, 53 families, it's most difficult," said Johnson. They have plans for a new facility, but the 50 plus women would have nowhere to go in the meantime.
"Women having no place to go, for most of them this is the last stop on the block," said shelter resident Karen Childress. The House of Hope has worked miracles in the lives of abused and homeless women, but now they need a miracle.
"I can't imagine it not being a House of Hope," said Johnson. The shelter says it's trying to negotiate a month to month lease with the landowner, until they can get a new building.