House of Neighborly Service [HNS]-- Local Outreach Team Ministry Spotlight
by Ed Woofter
One of the objectives of Faith’s Local Outreach Team is to create awareness and understanding around various opportunities to serve our local community. There are many practical settings in our area where people can, in a very real way, be the hands and feet of Jesus as they help address the needs of others.
This month’s blog spotlight is House of Neighborly Services, commonly known in Loveland as “HNS.”
For over 57 years, HNS has been a beacon of hope to those living in Larimer County and the R2J School District. As a Bible-based non-profit, the organization has helped literally thousands of families and individuals. With a focus on those experiencing poverty or a situational crisis, HNS provides a much-needed lifeline to many who are vulnerable in our community, particularly children and seniors. If you are familiar with Faith Church hosting “Angel House” throughout the year, you are aware of one facet of HNS’s ministry to those in housing crises.
In the past two calendar years, HNS has seen an increase of 41% in people seeking assistance; most of whom are first-time clients. The Reporter Herald reports that 10% of all families in Loveland are now living in poverty! As you would imagine, the needs are real and HNS is stepping into the picture with a high degree of effectiveness.
Many seeking assistance from HNS are families and individuals who are working in jobs that are lower paying, but important to our city and economy; i.e., retail, restaurant, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. We can all attest to the fact that the Front Range is an [increasingly] expensive place to live and frequently, the pay these people receive does not keep pace with the escalating cost of living.
Couple the cost of living with the fact that the baby-boomer generation is aging and we find many people today living on a limited, fixed income.
As their staff and volunteers meet with clients to assess needs, HNS assists by providing:
- Food Vouchers for nutritional and daily upkeep [i.e. laundry detergent, deodorant, etc.].
- Clothing vouchers, including items like winter coats, bedding, kitchen items, basic necessities like towels for bathing, along with an occasional coffee-pot, etc.
- Gas vouchers for interviews, job searching, and medical appointments that are all verified by letter or by phone contact.
- Prescription vouchers for those who can’t afford their copays but need the meds.
- Birth certificates assistance due to a loss or homelessness situation and necessary for Colorado identification and social security cards.
- Birthday vouchers that allow the client to pick a couple of toys along with a bag that has the cake and all kinds of party favors for their little ones.
There is no question that HNS plays a vital role in our community, stepping into challenging space in order to stand in the gap for many who are struggling. In addition to the ongoing need for financial support, volunteers are vital to the sustainability of HNS’ ministry. Currently, volunteer opportunities exist in the following areas, but not limited to:
- Food Pantry
- Clothing Boutique
- Case Worker
Should you have an interest in checking out these opportunities through HNS, you may contact Ed Woofter by email email@example.com or phone 970-988-3486.
If you have questions about Faith’s Local Outreach Team or have an interest in serving on the team, you may contact Joey Parsons at Faith Church.