Hope Harbor Capital Campaign Raises $1.7 Million

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Six months after announcing a capital campaign to raise $1.6 million to expand, Hope Harbor tells the public in a press conference Tuesday they've raised slightly more than $1.7 million.

They've had a wait list into their transitional homes since October 2012, but collective donations from the community will allow Hope Harbor to expand their facilities.

"The goal was to be able to serve more people in the transitional shelter, but we will also be able to...offer more programming in terms of education and teaching," said Capital Campaign co-chairman Sherma Jones.

Donations began rolling in at the start of the campaign in January, surprising staff with the outpouring from the community.

"It's overwhelming. None of us on the team expected to have this done this quickly and in addition, to go over by 100,000. It's just incredible," said Hope Harbor executive director Adam Ross.

The $1.7 million will go towards renovations, adding nine rooms and up to 32 new beds to their transitional housing.

"It's going to be amazing. It's so awesome to be able to provide more beds to people that have gotten into situations like I did and to know that there's a place they can go for help. There's more beds available," said Hope Harbor resident Crystal O'Rourke.

However, that's not all the renovations that will be happening. Hope Harbor also purchased the former Contryman Building right around the corner in April, which will be used as office space.

"The majority of what we're going to do over there is making it ADA accessible," said Ross. "When that's completed, what is currently our education center, our offices and our donation room, all that's going to move over to the service center."

Work is schedule to begin in December, providing shelter and services for those in need by March 2016.

For those currently housed at Hope Harbor, the support from the community is touching.

"I didn't trust. I didn't have anything. I was broken. Along the lines of Hope Harbor, I've been here almost a year, and...my kids have their mom back and I have my life back. I couldn't of done that without any of the help from Hope Harbor," said O'Rourke.

Hope Harbor serves homeless or near homeless women, children and families in the Grand Island area.