Holiday Program Open Now!

STUART- House of Hope has opened the Holiday Program for 2020! Our Project HOPE staff has been very busy enrolling families for Holiday Program assistance for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals as well as Christmas presents for local children. We invite the public to join in the giving spirit by signing up to collect gifts and/or adopting a family through House of Hope's Holiday Program. Our Holiday Program creates another opportunity for members of our community to help local families in need have a special holiday season. All families are screened for participation in House of Hope's Holiday Program. Proof of identity, current address, service, financial need and guardianship (where applicable) are validated before a family becomes eligible for assistance. For those who wish to get involved, our easy sign up form is found here >> Holiday Program.

House of Hope evolves during pandemic to better serve struggling households

MARTIN COUNTY- House of Hope has always embraced change by recognizing opportunities and evolving to incorporate new ways to help empower thousands of local residents to overcome hunger and hardship each month. Most recently, by exponentially growing the number and scale of food partners, utilizing generous donations efficiently, and tackling the ambitious realm of producing farm-fresh food – House of Hope’s model has grown to position itself as a reliable food bank to fellow agencies. This shift has been in the making for months, however, the COVID-19 Pandemic created the pressing need to hit the ground running in order to meet the drastic increase in assistance being sought after. The agency jumped from serving 5,500 local residents monthly to averaging a staggering 7,000 per month through four House of Hope food pantries as well as thousands more via partnering agencies. 

Traditionally, area charities had a struggle procuring the needed pantry staples and supplies to serve those in need usually resorting to purchasing these items. This expense being a significant chunk of budgets limited the resources available to fund other programs offered by those organizations. House of Hope’s substantial food distribution to partners exponentially increases the variety, quality and quantity of food items available and they are shared with House of Hope’s program partners at no cost. This not only improves the offerings for each of these various feeding programs, it frees up funding for these agencies to offer more robust and impactful additional services to the Martin County households they help. Approximately 7000,000 lbs of food have already been provided by House of Hope to area organizations during the COVID response.

Partners such as Farm Share, Restoration Bridge International, Publix, CROS Ministries have helped provide thousands of pounds of fresh food, much of it direct from growers across the Southeastern U.S. Dairy and eggs, for example, used to be next to impossible to procure and now House of Hope has such a steady supply that not only do the agency’s four Martin County pantries offer it often, program partners such as LAHIA, First United Methodist's Manna Kitchen, Safespace, and the Boys and Girls Club of Martin County have been able to access the previously impossible inventory.

House of Hope’s most unique game changers have been its new Growing Hope Farm and the Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, both having exceeded the expectations set for these assets producing and preparing 8,000 units of nutritionally balanced meals and snacks each month. Hydroponically and aeroponically grown produce is harvested and prepared on the same day by staff and volunteers pairing with donated food items to create nutritionally balanced salads, sandwiches, meal kits and snacks to be distributed by House of Hope pantries and partner agencies.  The initial goal of these programs was to improve the health and stability of families through nutrition, an initiative promoted as “Hope For Health.” The successes of these programs have helped that initiative to stretch far beyond House of Hope’s own pantry clientele now also impacting fellow agencies' recipients.

House of Hope Board Chairman, Hans VanDerlip shares, “House of Hope continues in its quest to serve the residents of Martin County to the best of our ability. In this time of unparalleled unpredictability, the staff and volunteers of House of Hope consistently go above and beyond. As the needs of our community change and evolve so will the manner in which we proudly and humbly serve.” 

House of Hope now taking precautions regarding COVID-19

House of Hope has developed the following health and safety guidelines for our community related to coronavirus (COVID-19). As an organization focused on addressing the needs of our clients, especially during a crisis, we are committed to ensuring that our community is equipped to stay healthy during this rapidly evolving public health threat through different means like planning, messaging, supplies stocking, and additional cleaning.

In an effort to take every precaution and prioritize health and safety, House of Hope has put in place the following guidelines:

1. House of Hope employees and volunteers who are sick or living with sick individuals are required to stay home.

2. House of Hope’s locations are remaining open as normally scheduled at this time with the intent to continue offering services as usual. Some advocacy and volunteer appreciation events have been postponed. We encourage you to read any and all updates on our website, Facebook page, and emails as the situation develops.

3. If you have a medical condition that places you in a high-risk category (older adults or people who have a serious chronic medical condition like: Heart Disease, Diabetes, or Lung Disease), talk to your doctor before coming to House of Hope. Our staff will make every effort to be flexible in working with clients, partners, and/or volunteers in the high-risk categories by making alternate arrangements to provide services, meetings via phone or other necessary methods.

As always, the best thing we can do to prevent the spread of illness is:

1. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

2. Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue or cough into your elbow and then wash your hands.

3. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please reach out to House of Hope by calling (772) 286-4673 or emailing


House of Hope Seeks Support in Preparing for Drastic Spike in Needy Households  

MARTIN COUNTY- As local need is expected to drastically increase by more than 50% - worse than post-natural disaster numbers, House of Hope is asking the public to get involved. Monetary donations, volunteers for food distribution procedures, and non-perishable food items are needed immediately to meet the rapidly increasing community needs. Daily operations have shifted to take unprecedented measures in order to implement precautions needed to protect volunteers, staff, and clients from exposure to COVID-19 risks while continuing to serve thousands of residents in need.

The local workforce is heavily tied to the restaurant and hospitality industries whose workers are now losing their jobs with no assurances of re-employment by any particular date. Any resident whose livelihood depends on tourism, dining out and recreational activities have already been drastically affected by the mandated closures and social distancing practices. Many of these workers have never received assistance from agencies such as House of Hope before and will need to learn where they may find help to combat food insecurity and possible eviction. Additionally, children home from school for the foreseeable future are no longer having free or reduced meals offered twice a day and many of these students will not have transportation nor the supervision to access daily feeding sites. Households arranging for alternative childcare options will experience new financial hardship and compromise for those still working. With more than 37,000 Martin County residents already living in food-insecure households, 40% of households regularly cannot afford a $400 decrease in their monthly income. The need for assistance by this population is expected to rise by 50-75%.

House of Hope CEO, Rob Ranieri, shares, “How cohesive the community can be in responding to this situation between the local government, nonprofit agencies, funders, our health department, the school district and the general public will dictate how our most vulnerable populations will fare. We’ve got to work together to prevent dramatic slides into homelessness; donations of food and financial support will be key.”

Along with the anticipated increase in demand for assistance comes the challenge of other resources decreasing drastically for the nonprofit. 80% of House of Hope volunteers are in the high-risk category for being susceptible to complications from COVID-19 and are no longer able to report for their normal shifts. Canceled and postponed fundraisers, slow business in the agency’s thrift stores and slower private donations have crippled the revenue available to House of Hope. With the highest urgency to procure food, hygiene items, pet food, diapers, and other supplies needed to offer crisis-support to thousands more Martin County residents now struggling, House of Hope has developed a comprehensive plan to utilize the public’s help in the most impactful ways possible.

For residents seeking to either give help or get help, House of Hope has been updating its website, social media channels, and newsletters to keep everyone informed as quickly as possible. With four service centers across Martin County now offering curbside prepackaged pantry distribution in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown, and Jensen Beach, those newly in need are encouraged to bring their photo ID and proof of residency in Martin County in order to receive emergency food service. For those seeking financial assistance, residents should call (772) 286-4673. For updated information about services and resources available, the public is invited to visit before heading to the nearest service center.


MACY's JENSEN BEACH- Longtime supporter and two time Hope Award winners (Macy's and Geoff Leoberman, Jensen Beach store manager) generously provided House of Hope with over 300 garments to be distibuted via Project HOPE and partnering agency, 4C's. These formal fashions will be offered to Martin County clients in need for celebratory occasions that often pose financial burdens to households such as graduation, prom, homecoming, quincienas and weddings. Maintaining dignity has always been a hallmark of House of Hope's client choice pantries and this generous donation will help the agency supply local residents with a way to attend important milestones without taking on financial strains to participate.

“Macy’s is committed to giving back, sharing joy and being there for the community in times of need. This unprecedented time has brought challenges to many families in the communities Macy’s colleagues live and work, and Macy’s is proud to support House of Hope, an incredible organization whose impactful work plays a vital role in strengthening and enriching the local community and beyond,” said Geoff Lieberman, Macy’s Jensen Beach store manager.  


Annual Girl Scout Food Drive to Benefit House of Hope

February 23, 2020

During the last week of February, Girl Scouts will be delivering door hangers throughout Martin County to announce where they will be making the rounds collecting non perishable food donatoins on Saturday March 7. Recipients of the door hangers are urged to check their own pantries for items they'd like to contribute as well as to take advantage of BOGO sales in order to "Buy One Give One" for the food drive. Pet food items will also be accepted. 

Unfortunately, the Girl Scouts will not be able to reach all of the homes in Martin County and ask that gated communities and/or condominiums set up their own collection bins leading up to March 7 for Girl Scouts to schedule convenient pick ups for so that those residents may also participate. Other places of business and/or houses of worship may contribute by coordinating directly with the Girl Scout Food Drive by contacting Deb Geiger at (772) 215-1677.

Honoring Partners of Hope at Hope Awards Recognition Breakfast

The annual Hope Awards Recognition Breakfast offered a wholesome breakfast and active networking opportunity at Monarch Country Club on the

morning of Sept. 12. Community partners, businesses and private individuals were honored by House of Hope for their impactful contributions of passion, expertise, creativity and other resour

ces helpful to the agency’s mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship.

The 20 awards presented this year recognized the philanthropy and community engagement demonstrated by those honored while also further telling the story of how critical collaborations have enabled House of Hope to extend its reach with enhanced services and opportunities for local residents. This year’s recipients included: All Saints Episcopal Church, Amanda Paxton of Stuart Macaroni Kid, Brian Bailey with Aequion Water Technology, Debby Stasevich, Dee Reiss, Fabio Vasconcellos, Geoff Lieberman with Macy’s Jensen Beach, Helping People Succeed, Impact Designs, Indiantown Chamber of Commerce, Johnson Honda of Stuart, Library Foundation of Martin County, Martin County Library System, Mi Cabaña Taco Truck, Robert & Patricia Ernest, The Chef’s Table, The District Table & Bar, Town of Jupiter Island, and Two Men & A Truck. >> READ MORE

Locally-famous Holiday Store Opens to Support Project H.O.P.E.

Throughout the year, dozens of House of Hope volunteers sort and set aside all holiday-themed donations in order to create the locally-famous House of Hope Holiday Store. Most items are priced below $5 including complete Halloween costumes, fall and winter holiday decor, housewares and more. The inventory changes throughout the day as dedicated volunteers unpack hundreds of stored crates full of their curated merchandise to restock the shelves as it flies out the door.
Where:   House of Hope Stuart Thrift 2525 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994
When:    Opens Tuesday, August 13, and remains throughout the holidays until the last items are sold. Thanksgiving, Autumn and Halloween items are available first with Christmas, Hannukkah, and other seasonal items to follow.
Why:       89 cent of each dollar spent in House of Hope's thrift stores funds Project H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Progress through Empowerment) serving thousands of Martin County residents each month by providing food, financial assistance, clothing and housewares, information and referral, case management, school supplies, enrichment opportunities, job coaching and more.


Help Supply the Tools for School for Martin County Students

With an estimated 6,000 students in Martin County needing assistance in preparing for the upcoming school year, House of Hope is partnering with local businesses, organizations and residents for its annual “Tools for School” supply drive in order to fulfill the needs of as many students as possible.  

The goal is to alleviate the financial strain of back to school costs for struggling families while ensuring local students are supplied for success from the very start of the new school year. House of Hope staff and volunteers will soon stuff back packs full of school supplies for hundreds of children as well as providing opportunities for fresh haircuts and vouchers for new shoes. To be eligible for students to receive a backpack Martin County families must be enrolled for Project HOPE services at any of the four House of Hope pantry locations: Stuart, Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach or Indiantown.   

The school supply drive will occur from now until July 19, with distribution to the schools being scheduled before the start of classes August 12.

Items needed include: pocket folders, erasers, glue sticks, scissors, colored pencils, highlighters, flash drives, hand sanitizer, tissue, composition books, backpacks, markers, spiral notebooks, calculators, binders, pencils, pens, pencil cases, crayons and lined paper.

>> How you can help

Stamp Out Hunger 2019

The 2019 Stamp Out Hunger food drive weighed in at over 70,000 pounds of food collected for Martin County residents in need — the equivalent of more than 60,000 meals. The nation's largest one-day food drive was conducted across the county Saturday, May 11 organized annually by the National Association of Letter Carriers. This year, donations collected in Martin County will stay in Martin County helping to restock House of Hope’s four Client Choice pantries and several partnering agencies including church pantries, feeding sites for the homeless, and local homebound senior feeding programs. The much-needed items such as canned vegetables, soup, tomato products, pasta, cereal, and more come just in time to combat summer hunger, the spike in need experienced by local residents who are experiencing seasonal unemployment or decreased hours as well as school lunch programs ending for the summer.

Local postal carriers generously signed on to participate by collecting thousands of donated bags of food from their routes while also delivering the mail. Hundreds of volunteers donated their time and muscle to help gather, transport, and sort the influx of donations from generous local residences. This years' volunteer force included efforts by the Stuart Police Department, United Way of Martin County's Leaders United, Martin County High School football team, Jensen Beach High School Chinese Club, First United Methodist, Jensen Beach Christian Church, Holy Redeemer, and many other local individuals and families.

House of Hope has many groups and individuals to thank in addition to the many volunteer teams starting with the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1690 and the thousands of local residents who put food by their mailboxes to contribute to the drive. The daylong event could not happen without support from community-minded sponsors including HBKS Wealth Advisors, Circular Recycling, Hooks Construction, Cafe Martier at Stuart Post Office Cafe, Martin County Fairgrounds, Crary Buchanan Attorneys at Law, and Brooklyn Joe’s Italian Restaurant.

Top Chef Martin County 2019 a Sold Out Success

The third annual Top Chef Martin County benefiting House of Hope sizzled with a sold-out crowd in its new venue at the District Table & Bar. The lively audience of longtime House of Hope supporters and fans of the contestants cheered on the nailbiting cooking competition while enjoying live music, gourmet tasting stations from elite local restaurants, and cooking inspired raffle baskets.
Local amateur chefs Tina Craft (defending champion), Michelle Maguire, Jennifer DiTrapani, Craig Ahal and Tammy Matthew spent weeks leading up to the event raising funds to support House of Hope’s mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. The overall score was determined by combining individual fundraising tallies with culinary scores. The expert judging panel comprised of The Gafford's Taylor Wilson, O Gourmet Bistro & Catering's Olivia Ostrow, and Chef's Table's Adam Fatigate determined the winners. Martin County Commissioner Ed Ciampi emceed the event, stating "it is the role I've been training for my whole life." 
Craig Ahal took the top honors winning both Best Dish and the title of Top Chef Martin County 2019. Fellow contender Michelle Maguire was awarded the honors for Top Fundraiser, having raised almost $10,000 for House of Hope’s mission. Each of the competitors submitted fabulous dishes resulting in very close scores across the board. All of the competitors turned in decadent entries and displayed excellent sportsmanship ever step of the way. 
House of Hope thanks the following community-minded sponsors for this year's record-breaking Top Chef Martin County event: District Table & Bar, Bank of America, CES, Circular Recycling, Hobe Sound Veterinary Clinic, FPL, HBKS, GLobal Neuro & Spine Institute, IV Vitamin Lounge, Berenguer Periodontal & Dental Implants Surgery Associates, Stuart Insurance, Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted, Deborah Lovequist, Michelle Maguire, Elaine & Jim Matts, Dr. Maureen Sullivan, Morningside Animal Hospital, Raymond James, A/C Doctors, and Ocean Breeze Animal Hospital. The gourmet tasting stations were generously donated by Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Mulligan's Beach House Bar & Grill, Tide House, Chef's Table, Guanabanas, Colab Farms, Ristorante Claretta, Cypress on Ocean, O Gourmet French Bistro & Catering, and District Table & Bar. 

Urging the public to help improve health and nutrition for local residents

We have announced our new Hope for Health and Nutrition Initiative designed to raise awareness about the high levels of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in the community while helping to provide new solutions, enhance current solutions, and improve the general understanding of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. 
House of Hope CEO, Rob Ranieri states, “We are seeking to add ambassadors and partners to help advance the initiative for all residents, especially low income families and individuals who currently suffer from these challenges in greater numbers and are at higher risk levels. For many local individuals and families, the health of the household is an obstacle to success.”
>> Full Story

Roaring Good Time Raises Support for Nutrition Initiatives

More than 140 guests attended a private fundraiser hosted by Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted at their grand waterfront home overlooking the St. Lucie River. Dr. Daniel Husted, a prominent orthopaedic surgeon in Stuart, and his wife Marlena, appealed to their extensive connections within the medical community aiming to raise support and awareness for House of Hope’s rapidly growing health and nutrition initiatives.
The program focuses on improving the community’s health via nutrition education, cooking and gardening classes, along with enhanced access to a variety of fresh produce via the agency’s four Client Choice pantries and partnering agencies. In some low-income communities in Martin County, as many as 60 percent of residents suffer from obesity and related chronic illnesses.
Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted stated “as a community we have the amazing opportunity to be fruitful and bless others in unimaginable ways. The impact on our community will have a lasting ripple effect that extends from person to person, town to town for many years to come.”
>> Full Story
>> Photo Gallery

Hearts for Hope Luncheon Celebrates 20th Anniversary

House of Hope’s largest fundraiser celebrated its 20th year Jan. 31, 2019, at Piper’s Landing Yacht and Country Club in Palm City. The sold-out event featured a gourmet lunch, complimentary mimosas, unique raffle baskets, pop-up House of Hope thrift boutique, and the Growing Hope farm stand.
House of Hope CEO, Rob Ranieri’s presentation took guests on a milestone-studded journey from the agency’s humble beginnings to current day accomplishments including several upcoming developments for House of Hope’s nutrition initiatives and vocational training offerings. The crowd applauded recent successes including the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment’s first year of operation, the first harvest of the East Stuart Community Garden, and phase two of construction beginning at the Agricultural & Vocational Production Farm in Palm City. 

For the rest of the story, visit the Hearts for Hope page.

Photo galleries of the event may be found on House of Hope’s Facebook page @hohmartin.

All new community garden sprouts up in East Stuart

On the chilly afternoon of Nov. 27, House of Hope and the City of Stuart proudly invited the community and several local notables to celebrate the official opening of the all-new East Stuart Community Garden located at 520 SE Florida Street in Stuart.

The newly cleared and fenced area features a series of raised garden beds and trellises which will function as part of House of Hope's Gardening to Grow Healthy Children and Families program focusing on increasing awareness of the health benefits of good nutrition and the basics of gardening. The program strives to change unhealthy eating habits and encourage a more active lifestyle through healthy cooking classes, demonstrations and gardening activities.

Through hands-on instruction, members of the community will participate in the planning, planting, maintenance and harvesting of the garden. While learning gardening basics, participants will also be educated about the health benefits of consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, choosing healthy snacks, and the benefits of an active lifestyle. House of Hope currently operates the same model in both the Banner Lake and Golden Gate communities. <insert # of students/participants?>

The East Stuart Community Garden has been made possible through a collaborative effort between House of Hope, the City of Stuart, Children’s Services Council and several private donors.

For more information about House of Hope’s nutrition gardens, click here  or contact the agricultural coordinator, Laura Lyman at (772) 286-4673 x 1018.

Phase 2 of the Agricultural and Vocational Production Farm Begins

Our large greenhouse is now under construction, and at full operating capacity up to 4,000 pounds of fresh produce will be harvested monthly and distributed to House of Hope clients, local soup kitchens, and economically challenged communities. This project sits nestled behind the all-new  Palm City Farms Produce & Market on land generously set aside by the owenrs, the Dawson Family.  Not only will the farm provide an abundance of healthful fresh fruits and vegetables, it will also offer individuals the opportunity to obtain agricultural job skills and gainful local employment through House of Hope’s vocational training program.
The focus of the Nutrition Gardens and the Agricultural Vocational Production Farm is to increase community awareness of the health benefits of good nutrition, increase client consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables, and provide knowledge about the basics of gardening, while helping to reduce Martin County’s high rate of diabetes, childhood and adult obesity, and other chronic illnesses. 
To learn more about our cutting edge new project in Palm City, visit >> Agricultural & Vocational Production Farm

House of Hope's Holiday Wish: A Turkey For Every Table

It may seem a tad early, but House of Hope is in desperate need of holiday food contributions. In order to provide holiday meals to eligible Martin County families, we need time to collect, sort, distribute, and have families thaw their turkeys in time for Thanksgiving. We are now accepting donations of frozen turkeys, grocery store gift cards, and monetary contributions to assist in providing Thanksgiving meals to the hundreds of local households in need. 
3 Ways to Help Put a Turkey on Every Table:

House of Hope named highest rated four-star charity on Treasure Coast


With new milestones being reached almost monthly this past year at House of Hope, staff and volunteers are now celebrating the agency’s most significant rating from Charity Navigator- a coveted four star score of 98.23 percent. By measuring House of Hope’s transparency, efficiency, financial stability and integrity, America's largest and most-utilized charity evaluator has deemed House of Hope to be the highest ranked organization on the Treasure Coast. While the agency has maintained a four-star status consistently since 2014, the latest score has tied House of Hope for eighth place in the state of Florida and granted the 11th best numerical ranking in the nation among Human Services organizations with a Social Service focus.

"We are proud of the fact that our supporters can trust House of Hope to be responsible stewards of every dollar and donation as we strive to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship, ” House of Hope chairman of the board, Stephen Schramm, said. "We continuously strive to enhance our agency’s impact and Charity Navigator’s independent scrutiny has once again led to earning another four-star rating and stellar score."

>> Read More

Publix Super Markets Charities Supports Better Nutrition for Martin County Residents

Publix Super Markets Charities has awarded $7,500 to House of Hope in support of the agency’s Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center in Stuart. The generous contribution will be quintessential in providing healthier food choices and the opportunity for a more nutritious lifestyle for thousands of Martin County residents served by House of Hope’s four Client Choice pantries. In addition to preparing fresh salads and sandwiches made available daily to clients, the Nutrition Center also processes, packages and freezes excess produce and meats in order to provide protein-rich food year-round. Tens of thousands of pounds of locally grown fresh produce such as potatoes, peppers, and corn that are gleaned (picked and donated) from area farms are also processed in the Nutrition Center and distributed throughout the pantries. There is never a cost to anyone seeking food or other assistance from House of Hope.

This important grant awarded by Publix Super Market Charities will furnish the Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center with packaging supplies, commercial gleaning bins, pantry food acquisitions, House of Hope's food distribution truck’s maintenance, and more. House of Hope CEO Rob Ranieri remarks, "Publix continues to make a difference in the lives of the families that House of Hope reaches. This grant from Publix Super Markets Charities is the latest example of their caring corporate culture and their willingness to support us we work to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship."   

Support for House of Hope’s nutrition initiatives and Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center helps to provide access to healthy foods in under-served communities which is a cost-effective way to reduce chronic disease in the populations most affected by them. By easing food insecurity and ensuring House of Hope clients have nutritious food on their tables, the Client Choice pantries may improve health, reduce health care costs, reduce the number of missed days from work and school, and improve the overall wellness of our community.



Legacy of Caring Fund to Focus on Stabilizing Martin County Families

House of Hope received a $4,000 grant from Westfield Insurance Foundation thanks to an ongoing collaboration with Stuart Insurance. Stuart Insurance’s own Margaret Kiess has been volunteering in House of Hope’s Client Choice pantry in Stuart for the past five years and her active participation serves as a conduit between the agencies. Paired with Stuart Insurance’s repeated holiday contributions to House of Hope, their ongoing support has been essential in Stuart Insurance’s grant nomination for House of Hope.

The grant is part of the Westfield Legacy of Caring program in which Westfield Trilogy agencies across the country were invited to nominate a local nonprofit focusing on family stability or safety. This funding will help Project HOPE address the issues of local poverty, hunger, homelessness and unemployment by providing individual case management services which establish personal goals to guide people toward self-sufficiency; provide nutritious food and nutrition education to increase healthy living habits; provide financial and other forms of assistance, and offer basic life and career skills training opportunities through House of Hope’s innovative job training program, offering motivated individuals marketable skills to earn a living wage. With a focus on the unemployed, those who work for low wages and exist paycheck to paycheck, support for Project HOPE will help to stabilize individuals and families while aiming to break the cycle of poverty.

“Westfield Insurance Legacy of Caring Fund and Stuart Insurance are extremely proud to provide ongoing support for House of Hope's mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship,” states Cabot Lord, president at Stuart Insurance, Inc. “There is not another charitable organization that does a better job in our community of efficiently providing resources to those that are in need.”

Macy's Jensen Beach Finds Three Ways to Help  Bag Hunger

House of Hope’s longtime Partner in Hope, Macy’s Jensen Beach reached a new milestone in giving through their annual Bag Hunger campaign. Macy’s supported House of Hope in three impactful ways: monetary contributions, non-perishable food donations and volunteerism.

“Macy’s Jensen Beach is proud to support House of Hope through our corporate giving initiatives, including our Bag Hunger campaign and Partners in Time volunteer days,” said Geoff Lieberman, vice president store manager of Macy’s Jensen Beach. “Together, with the help of our colleagues and customers, Macy’s is committed to alleviating hunger and making life shine brighter in our community.”

>> Read the full story

Summer Programs offer "Something for Everyone" at Golden Gate Center for Enrichment

House of Hope’s landmark program, the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment, has published the summer schedule of expanded offerings now available to the community at no cost. The new summer programming aims to provide something for everyone with unique educational activities for families and individuals wishing to beat the heat while enhancing their education, earning potential, financial stability and/or goals for better health.

House of Hope CEO, Rob Ranieri, shares, “we continue to look for diverse and relevant programming to impact the community in improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and families. We are fortunate to have so many great partnerships sharing their resources at the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment.”

In operation for less than a year, The Center has provided over 1,200 episodes of service to more than 400 participants of all ages. In addition to the normal calendar of programs and services offered year-round such as the computer lab, library services, career coaching, health and nutrition programs and support groups, The Center is proud to add family activities for the summer such as:

·         Book Club for Kids

·         Free Movie Night series

·         Hands-on “Gardening for Healthy Families” workshops

·         2018 Summer Reading Program

Seniors are invited to register for new classes including:

·         Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help in Florida

·         Preventing Falls

·         Positive Thinking: When Life Gives You Lemons

·         Battling the Aging Brain

Opportunities for teens and adults include:

·         “Ask a Nurse” women’s health screenings and consultations

·         “We Know Money” financial literacy workshops

·         English for Speakers of Other Languages

·         Various health screenings, immunizations and consultations

·         Support groups such as smoking cessation, men’s LGBTQ, and sexual abuse survivors 

To view the calendar of offerings and register for programs, visit or contact Kasey Jacobs, Golden Gate Center for Enrichment site coordinator at (772)286-4673 x 1600

Hundreds Pitched in to Stamp Out Hunger for Fellow Martin County Residents

The 26th Annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive supplied over 42,000 pounds of food to House of Hope — the equivalent of nearly 35,000 meals for Martin County residents in need. The nation's largest one-day food drive was conducted across the county today and is organized annually by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Donations collected in Martin County help to restock House of Hope’s four Client Choice pantries—Stuart, Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach and Indiantown — with much-needed items such as canned vegetables, soup, tomato products, pasta, cereal, etc. The timing is critical for local residents who are experiencing seasonal unemployment or decreased hours as well as school lunch programs ending for the summer.

Hundreds of volunteers donated their time on Saturday to help sort the influx of donations from local residences. Local postal carriers generously signed on to participate by collecting thousands of donated bags of food from their routes while also delivering the mail.

According to House of Hope CEO, Rob Ranieri, “The latest reports tell us that there are 17,704 Martin County residents living below the poverty line and an additional 19,600 that are “food insecure”. Every bag left for your postal carrier to pick up created a significant local impact by helping House of Hope to provide these individuals and families with adequate nutrition.”

House of Hope has many groups and individuals to thank, starting with the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1690 and the thousands of local residents who put food by their mailboxes to contribute to the drive.  Two shifts of Stamp Out Hunger volunteers were stationed at the Palm City, Stuart and Stuart Annex, and Hobe Sound postal offices to load the collected food into trucks transported by volunteer drivers to the Martin County Fairgrounds. At the fairgrounds, hundreds of volunteers including the following groups sorted tons of donated non-perishables: Edgewater Property-Realty, Martin County High School Football Team, The Chinese Club from Jensen Beach High School, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, United Way of Martin County’s Leaders United, and  House of Hope volunteers.

In addition to the hard-working volunteers, the daylong event could not happen without support from community-minded sponsors including Circular Recycling, Hooks Construction, Waste Management, Cassidy’s Ice,  Manero's Restaurant, Martin County Fairgrounds, Impact Designs, Crary Buchanan Attorneys at Law and Brooklyn Joe’s Italian Restaurant.

Local Law Enforcement Participates in Community Support Program Addressing Poverty

Local agencies have partnered to bring the renowned “Bridges Out of Poverty” community support program to Martin County. This multifaceted model actively involves the public, law enforcement, social service agencies and their clients to participate in learning the effect that poverty has on the entire community and provide a better understanding of how to help people move out of poverty. Hosted by House of Hope and funded by the Martin County Community Foundation’s Francis Langford Fund, the Law Enforcement Training segment of the Bridges Out of Poverty program took place May 11 at the City of Stuart Police Department.

The law enforcement element of the training stems from Jodi Pfarr’s industry-standard book, Tactical Communication, which guides first responders to better utilize communication skills to control the scene, stay safe, and garner cooperation and respect with the people they encounter from all socio-economic backgrounds. The workshop is tailored to help first responders understand the driving forces in poverty in order to be more effective on each call and receive fewer complaints. Having local law enforcement eager to learn from this course is a critical component to the effectiveness of the program overall given their daily interaction with the community and various situations they are tasked with managing.

Staff from City of Stuart Police, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, and House of Hope participated in a daylong session facilitated by Gary Rudick. The 35-year veteran of law enforcement informs “This isn’t a hug-a-thug program, instead it serves to create better communication and understanding between police officers and members of the community. [This training] can help officers create a better perception and reputation which helps to build trust. Everything works better when everyone trusts and works together.”

City of Stuart Chief of Police, David Dyess states “The training will prove to be extremely helpful to the officers when working with the public. Communication is the key to every successful law enforcement officer, and the Bridges out of Poverty course certainly provides officers tools to enhance our skills with all citizens of the community.”

President and CEO of the Martin County Community Foundation, Elizabeth Barbella adds "Our local experts identified this investment as essential to enhancing the way organizations and first responders, including law enforcement, interact with and empower those who are struggling to overcome poverty and hunger to achieve stability and self-sufficiency. We salute House of Hope for taking a leadership role in guiding this game changing work for our community and applaud our local law enforcement community for embracing this valuable opportunity."

Other components of the Bridges Out of Poverty curriculum have been underway since early this year including a series of poverty simulations which invited the general public to participate. Local leaders and influencers who were in attendance consistently reported that the experience was enlightening and important as it has inspired a different outlook and concern for the community around them. House of Hope will soon be rolling out the client portion of the training, “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin' By World” which is a facilitated program to help individuals build their own personal plan to get out of poverty and create sustainability. The objective is to provide an all-inclusive learning program that will benefit the individual and the community.

Philanthropy a Key Ingredient for Top Chef Martin County 2018

The second annual Top Chef Martin County benefiting House of Hope turned up the heat April 14 with a packed audience of longtime supporters and many newcomers cheering on the feisty cooking competition while enjoying music and dancing, gourmet tasting stations, boutique shopping and highly coveted raffle prizes. Local amateur chefs Dina Roosth, Melissa Zolla, Dr. Brian Moriarty, Jennifer Stull-Wise and Tina Kraft spent weeks leading up to the event raising funds to support House of Hope’s mission to empower Martin County residents to overcome hunger and hardship. The overall score was determined by combining individual fundraising tallies with culinary scores. The expert judging panel comprised of Jason Stocks (chef/owner of District Table & Bar), Rachel Pias (chef/owner of Banyan 320) and Adam Fetterman (2017 Top Chef Martin County victor) determined the winners.

With her own take on “gamberi e grits” or Italian shrimp and grits, local artist Tina Kraft was named Top Chef Martin County Overall Winner. She also took home the honor of Best Dish for the highest individual points scored on her preparation. Fellow contender Dina Roosth was awarded the honors for Top Fundraiser, having raised over $10,000 for House of Hope’s mission. Each of the competitors submitted fabulous dishes resulting in very close scores across the board.

House of Hope thanks the following community-minded sponsors: Loving Chiropractic of Stuart, Andy and Lorraine Popky, Circular Recycling, Wallace Mazda, Jim & Elaine Matts, The Firefly Group, FPL, Deborah Lovequist, The Wong Family Foundation, Patricia Churchill, Gordon & Doner, Advanced Diagnostic Group and Whiticar Boatworks.

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Volunteers honored for over 42,000 hours of dedicated service

House of Hope volunteers and staff from across the nonprofit’s multiple locations gathered for the agency’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. The April 4 event was well attended by over 130 guests who were treated to an impressive breakfast at Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart.
All volunteers were honored for their dedicated efforts with personalized certificates of recognition displaying impact statistics highlighting over 6,000 people helped, 754,828 pounds of nutritious food distributed and a whopping 76,341 pieces of clothing, furniture, appliances and housewares provided to local residents in need. Throughout 2017, House of Hope volunteers devoted 42,898 hours of service across House of Hope's service centers in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown and Jensen Beach.
House of Hope relies on the energies of volunteers to operate its four Martin County Client Choice food pantries, four thrift stores, Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, six nutrition gardens, production farm as well as assisting with special events and office tasks. Many volunteers are currently training for enhanced roles as career coaches and homework helpers for the agency’s Golden Gate Center for Enrichment.

It's a simulation, not a game. House of Hope, Martin County Community Foundation, and the United Way of Martin County are collaborating to host “Dare to Care: A Poverty Simulation” workshop Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the IRSC Chastain Campus in the Clare & Gladys Wolf Technology Center located at 2400 SE Salerno Road in Stuart.

Participants will be assigned an identity and typical circumstances of someone who is facing poverty in order to experience how dynamic and interwoven the common challenges are for local residents. The task is to obtain food, shelter, and other basic necessities by accessing various community resources during the course of four 15-minute "weeks." They will interact with volunteers posing as service providers such as agency workers, law enforcement, teachers, government entities, employers and more. This inclusive simulation will challenge perceptions and perspectives, inspiring new understanding and empathy for what so many fellow Martin County residents face.

The event is limited to 80 participants and space is filling up fast. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and light refreshments will be served throughout the day. To register for the Dare to Care Poverty Simulation, CLICK HERE or call Lauren Mustelier at (772)286-4673 x 1004.

House of Hope is excited to invite Martin County students to participate in the first ever “Stamp Out Hunger Student Art Contest.” Student artists are asked to use their creativity and talent to help raise awareness about the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and the issue of hunger facing our community. 

All contestants will be invited to attend the Stamp Out Hunger Kick Off Party at House of Hope May 9th, 2018 where the art contest winners will be announced. 

Three grand prize winners will receive a $100 Visa gift card, a t-shirt with their artwork, and a plaque of recognition.  The three winning pieces will also have their artwork printed on limited edition t-shirts and other items that will be available to purchase and/or order. 

When creating the artwork, contestants should consider elements such as:

Download Registration Packet


Local Doctor and Wife Host Sumptuous Soiree to Benefit House of Hope

More than 150 guests attended a private fundraiser thrown by Dr. Daniel and Marlena Husted in support of House of Hope’s nutrition garden programs at their grand waterfront home Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. A clarinet foursome musically set the mood as the crowd gathered within the Husted’s extensive fountain-centered garden while they sipped libations from the Tito’s Vodka Martini bar. The weather was perfect, the venue exquisite, and the attendees were dressed to thrill.

Dr. Daniel Husted, a prominent orthopaedic surgeon based in Stuart, and his wife M