Help agency help the homeless

Published 9:02 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

By Jeanna White

Join Just HOPE for a night of mystery and fun as they “Unmask the Face of Homelessness” and raise funds to help transition families in Davie County from homeless to housed by attending a masquerade event on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Triple J Manor House in Mocksville.

Just HOPE is a community outreach agency that provides services to those who are homeless/displaced or lack reliable transportation in Davie County. It serves hot meals at local motels/campgrounds, delivers food boxes to those in need, and provides a family day center for those needing assistance in the community but don’t know where to look.

The Just HOPE Masquerade will be from 6-10 p.m. . Formal dress is not required. Dress comfortably for a night of good food, fun, and good company for a great cause.

Guests will have dinner catered by Milestone Memories while being serenaded by the voice of Lauren Light. Enjoy performances by Three Graces Entertainment and dance the night away to the hits played by DJ Payne. The silent auction is packed with unique gift items and there will be a cash bar for guests to enjoy local wines and beer.

More than 250 people attended last year’s event and raised $22,000. This year’s goal is $30,000.

“I was blown away at the amount of support at last year’s event,” said Krystal Dumas, Just HOPE’s executive director. “I never imagined  doubling our original fundraising goal and selling out of tickets. It was an amazing event and made a huge impact on our community. We now have our own building, no longer having to rent, and we have successfully transitioned over 200 families since last year’s event. I can only pray that this year is just as much of a blessing.”

Silent auction items include:

• signed Cam Newton Carolina Panthers jersey and other NFL memorabilia;

• Nascar Package: (4) grandstand Nascar SPRINT All-Star race tickets, Nascar Hall of Fame passes, and dinner for (4);

• Family Weekend Package: (4) Tweetsie Railroad passes, Kaleideum Museum passes for (2) adults and all children in the household, Scoops ice cream certificate, and dinner gift certificate.

• Ladies Night Out: Paint & Sip certificate, Village Tavern dinner gift card, and a bottle of Weathervane Vineyard wine.

• Vacation Package: A week’s stay at Ocean Spray Condo at Atlantic Beach, Shell gas card, and an Outback gift certificate.

• Spoil yourself package: (4) Spray tan sessions from Spray of Sunshine, $350 Torque Crossfit certificate, $50 Honor Darling certificate, and a NV Spa certificate.

Other items for auction: Pandora Jewelry, collectible framed artwork, Elvis Presley memorabilia, golf package, pottery, holiday themed basket, camping package and more.

Just HOPE, also known as JHI, was founded in January of 2010 by Dumas as a mobile food pantry to serve those who lacked reliable transportation to get to resources and services. Most of the clients served didn’t qualify for traditional assistance, such as food stamps or Work First. The mobile pantry is still in operation and delivers to an average of 75 families monthly along with emergency cases on a day to day basis.

“We wanted to meet people’s needs but not duplicate services offered by other agencies in the county,” Dumas said. “That’s how we ended up focusing on the homeless and those without transportation.”

According to Dumas, the homeless population in Davie County has been overlooked for a long time, mainly because most people thought they didn’t exist.

“Families are going through hard times and falling through government program cracks. These families are living in multi-family households with unsafe sleeping situations, living in motels, sleeping in their cars, and even residing in tents wherever they can find a vacant space of land,” she said. “Until JHI started the Homeless Prevention Program in 2013, Davie County did not have specific resources or agencies dedicated to helping this population.”

Slowly but surely, these families are being assisted by JHI in finding permanent shelter…somewhere to call home.

“Once we’ve addressed a family’s hunger needs, we work to identify the root cause of why they are in the situation they are in,” Dumas said. “Sometimes it is because of high rent, high electricity bills, or high repair bills on their home. Often it is because a parent is underemployed or has lost a job. No two families’ situation is the same.

“It is easier to find the root of the problem than to continue applying a Band-Aid,” she added. “Many of our elderly clients are on a fixed income and will continue to need some assistance, but most of our families only need our services for three to six months after we address the root of their needs.”

While these families transition to their own home, they need assistance with many things. JHI assists with food and hygiene items, job search, budget building, agency referrals, case management, substance abuse referrals, and counseling.

Until they locate permanent housing, JHI’s home office acts as their mail center, laundry facility, a place to use the phone and receive important messages, and an escape from the harsh weather conditions during the day. JHI operates a family day center that offers amenities often not available to families living in a tent or hotel room. Computers are available for job searches, creating resumes, taking online classes and doing homework. A family room with couches provides families a place to hang out together and JHI hosts weekly dinner & a movie and board game nights.

“The family day center is really a kind of therapy,” said Dumas. “It helps the families to interact with other families going through similar situations. Often they are able to help each other and learn from each other.”

After they find housing, JHI assists with furniture, clothing, and household items from its in-house thrift store, which it operates to help fund its services.

Dumas is grateful to the sponsors who are making the event possible.

Tickets are $55 per person or $100 for two and can be purchased at 643 Wilkesboro St. in Mocksville or by contacting Dumas at (336) 909-4241 or

JHI accepts donations of food, supplies, coupons, or money from individuals, businesses, and organizations.  The thrift store accepts clothing, shoes, movies, books, household items, furniture, and other items families would need that are starting over in a new home. As a non-profit agency, JHI is always in looking for organizations to sponsor food or hygiene item drives, or other fundraisers.

Just HOPE Inc. is a United Way partner agency. For more information about the organization, its services, or hours of operation, visit or call (336) 909-4241.