The HopeGateWay community includes people from many different countries of origin, including Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, the United States, and others. We celebrate the rich diversity that we share, and we give thanks for the opportunity to be in ministry with one another. No us-and-them. Just us.
In 2012, the people of HopeGateWay gave birth to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Hope Acts, as a way of extending its ministry within the immigrant and recovery communities. In 2013, Hope Acts launched Hope House, a residential program at 14 Sherman Street, where 13 asylum seekers at a time live in community, strengthen their English skills, work through the asylum process, and form social connections that will help them thrive. HopeGateWay continues to celebrate Hope House, and as a partnering faith community, we support this important program in as many ways as we can.
We have a Laundry Ministry, with a washing machine and dryer onsite at HopeGateWay (509 Forest Avenue, Portland) where, by appointment, recipients of Portland's General Assistance can do their laundry — no charge. We are grateful for a grant from the United Methodist Foundation of New England in 2017 that enabled the purchase and installation of the laundry machines.
Supporting Immigrant Tenants
Springing from the vision and passion of HopeGateWay member and champion of social justice, Sue Rudalevige, Supporting Immigrant Tenants (SIT) is now a program of Prosperity Maine (formerly Community Financial Literacy). Through this program, immigrants can apply for an interest-free loan for a housing security deposit, and then receive education, advocacy, and support that will help them to achieve long-term, sustainable housing. Immigrants wishing to apply for a loan are invited to participate in a workshop called "How to Be a Successful Tenant." Community members are invited to be trained as a Housing Coach, offering support and guidance for new tenants.
These are just a few of the ways we strive to be in ministry with our immigrant friends and neighbors.