“That’s one thing Inner Hope did for me; on their day off they would drive me to school, and it encouraged me to keep going to school.” Toni
“A small thing that Inner Hope has done for me is pay for my criminal record check, so I could work at a camp – and that was the best summer of my life.” Richard
‘Inner Hope has provided help during my high school and college education, providing support and editing my papers – and now I’m working full-time.” Liz
Inner Hope Youth Ministries is one of those groups that operates quietly, faithfully and effectively, year after year, to help young people, especially Indigenous youth, facing challenges in their community. (See short videos from Toni, Richard, Liz at the end of the story and all six videos here.)
They don’t spend much time tooting their own horn, so it only seems fair to help them out a bit when they do draw attention to their work – and their need for funds. Inner Hope is doing the kind of work that offers hope, especially poignant as one considers the lack of community engagement exposed by the death of Colten Boushie.
During the month of February, Inner Hope is highlighting some of their ‘Small Acts of Love.” Executive director Jenny Shantz said:
The Inner Hope team shows countless small acts of love every day to inner-city youth and families in East Vancouver. Now we’re asking you to show your small act. Donate to help us raise $10,000 by the end of February.
Here is how Inner Hope describes its work:
Since 2007, Inner Hope has provided short- or long-term housing for over 35 children and youth. We have offered support to dozens more, becoming a second home where youth can have a meal, do their laundry, celebrate their birthday or do their homework.
Our life skills programs include Boundless, a one-on-one high school mentoring program and Post Secondary Support focusing on helping young adults transition into college or the workplace after high school.
Finally, we offer youth ways to pursue discipleship, encouraging them to grow in faith through church attendance, Bible studies and service trips. Through all our programs, we share the hope of new life gained through the mercy and grace of a loving God.
We are currently funded primarily by private donors, businesses, churches and foundations across Canada who are excited to do what they can to provide hope to youth in East Vancouver. Inner Hope is a registered Canadian charity.
Here is why Inner Hope exists:
Within the Vancouver area, hundreds of teens are in need of a supportive community. These youth find themselves lacking a stable home, a strong support network and healthy role models. Many of these youth have one or more parents who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and/or have a parent who is absent from their life due to death or abandonment. Lacking guidance in the home, a majority of these youth find themselves repeating these cycles from an early age.
Many teens, including a disproportionately high percentage of Aboriginal youth, have spent part of their life in the foster care system. Often placements are short-term with young people being bounced between foster homes and biological family. This high level of instability hinders healthy development and has long-term impacts. By the time these young people enter their teen years, they are often struggling academically in school, carrying a high level of anger and turning to substance use to numb the pain.
Inner Hope Youth Ministries believes that together we can reach out to these youth at this critical stage of their lives. Through caring and mentoring relationships, and for some the provision of stable housing, we can help them develop into the people they were meant to be. The cost of not doing this, both for these youth and for society, is far too high. We aim to shatter multi-generational cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse and dependency on welfare. By God’s grace, we will see His love transform these young people as we journey with them through their development into stable adults impacting their families and community.
Every gift to Inner Hope will be tripled by matching donors, so the ministry hopes to have raised $30,000 by the end of the month. Go here to donate.