It is a food pantry and charity that last year served more than 20,000 clients. This week the Hope Center in Fraser announced it is being forced to close.
The doors will close on November 1.
“It’s sad, because this isn’t just a job for me,” said T.J. Kelly, Properties and Facilities Director at The Hope Center. “It was what I put my heart into.”
The decision was made by the non-profit’s executive board.
“Like other non-profits in our area, funding has been increasingly difficult to secure with this market becoming more saturated than ever before with agencies contending for the same financial support,” said Steve Gibson, Hope Center Executive Director in a post on the organization’s homepage. “Although other extrinsic factors apply, there was simply too little support to continue offering the services our community has grown to appreciate.”
The non-profit’s food pantry was unique in that it was set up to look more like a trendy food store, than a food pantry. It also offered free haircuts, legal aid, and Christian outreach to those in need.
Kelly says he can’t stop thinking about all the people the Hope Center helped. He doesn’t know where they will go for help after they lose The Hope Center.
“It does concern me. If you look around, people are asking where do I go now?” said Kelly.