Posted by: joshjasper | July 25, 2009

The House of Hope

I ended this week with a visit to the Hope House in Dubuque.  Before that visit, I didn’t know they existed.  The Hope House is a an organization that provides shelter/hospitality for men in Dubuque.  They can house upwards to 16 men at any given time, and the house was full when I stopped by, with 2 guys sleeping on couches.

The house manager asked to meet with me to discuss the presentations that I give that focus on engaging men in violence prevention.  He was interested in having this message reach the men that he serves and lives with.  After a brief tour of the house and about 2 minutes into our meeting I knew we are onto something big.  We closed the meeting with me proposing to provide a 10 week course/group discussion to the men beginning in September.  The course would focus on creating a safe space for men to define manhood and redefine masculinity to prevent future abuse and neglect.  Or in other other words, what are we as men learning that contributes to violence?  It looks as if I will have the opportunity to present on Monday night after the community meal they provide.  I was told that the weekly community meal sometimes feeds 50 men!

I left the Hope House feeling just that…hope.  Here was a group of men that struggle with some of the hardest things that life can throw at you (homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse), and it is this group that wants to explore their identity to create a positive change for our community.

Incredible.

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