We are a community of people who have come together to offer resources to help refugees meet their very real financial, personal and spiritual needs through business with Hope Street Market (HSM) which sells quality, up-cycled products handmade by local refugees. We also meet their need for English language learning through English Language Ambassadors (ELA) for which we meet in the homes of refugees and teach English.
Imagine coming to the United States as a refugee with your family and trying to make it on your own and what it would be like to be here without a job or any connections, and no friends, and no hope.
Now, imagine this…
Friendly local people entering your home and offering to teach you English for free, and/or an opportunity to bring in a little cash, but more importantly offering you a friendship.
ELA does just that.
We have often heard, “you have to pay for everything here.” Many of the refugee women have to leave their motherly roles to find jobs outside of the home – such a foreign concept to them. And in most cases this is very difficult due to lack of work experience and language barriers (as most speak very broken English, if any at all).
Through the Hope Street Market ministry we provide refugees a way to earn a living while staying at home. This is accomplished by providing materials and equipment as necessary so they can create handcrafted up-cycled goods. We then market and sell the items through a variety of retail and wholesale as well as online sources; in turn, providing the women with wages from the sale of the items. It is so inspiring and heartwarming to see the joy on the faces of these refugees as they bring us their finished products, smiling and asking for more to do.
English Language Ambassadors was born out of seeing the need for English language learning among refugees and their need for convenient home learning as several refugees cannot drive to classes for various
reasons, and sometimes their religion prevents them from leaving the home. Our well trained volunteer teachers go into the homes with curriculum and supplies provided for them, and spend an hour of instruction time at least twice a week.
HSM and ELA shows love in practical ways that helps us gain their trust through day-to-day interactions with these dear people. In return we are able to develop deep friendships.