Just Hope still growing; planning fundraisers

Published 9:11 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

  1. Just HOPE, Inc. is celebrating its fifth year as a nonprofit helping the homeless, displaced, and those who lack reliable transportation in Davie County.

    Supporters allowed them to continue to spread hope in the community.

    The journey of the nonprofit has been nothing short of a blessing for the founder and the place she calls home, Davie County.

    As a couponer with a stockpile, Founder Krystal Dumas and her family began sharing the surplus items from their pantry with the homeless people they had observed in the county.

    However, feeding hungry mouths wasn’t all she wanted to do. She wanted to find the root causes and work on bringing individuals up and out of poverty.

    In 2012 she applied for nonprofit status from the IRS and was approved in February of 2013 to operate Just HOPE as a mobile outreach organization.

    Since then, Just HOPE – funded by donations, grants, and sales from items sold in the internal thrift store – has helped more than 500 families transition into their own homes after experiencing homelessness or displacement.

    Vouchers for clothing and household items and furniture donated by local supporters are given to Davie residents in need. Items are also sold to community members who love to thrift shop or need to take advantage of an affordable shopping solution while on a limited income.

    Just HOPE’s first home office was in the basement of NAPA Auto Parts in 2015, now moved to 643 Wilkesboro St. in Mocksville in 2017 after fundraising to mortgage the old Foster Drug building. The new anchor building recently added signage on the side of the building facing the road to attract more customers.

    The most recent homeless count in Davie County – taken as part of the annual Point in Time initiative taken to track the homeless across the nation – was 75. This does not include the growing number of residents who are cohabitating with or sleeping on couches of family and friends.

    “With the help of our community,” Dumas said, “Just HOPE is working to lower this number.  We will not stop until everyone in this county has a place to call home.”

    In addition to locating homes for and distributing clothing/household items to the homeless, Just HOPE offers a Family Day Center, where the homeless/displaced can seek refuge during the day. The nonprofit allows participants to use the laundry facility to wash their clothes to save money normally spent at the laundry mat.

    “We are thankful for our current partnerships,” she said, “and we are looking for new donors to help us expand our current programs and assist more individuals as the lack of affordable housing continues in Davie County.”

    Dumas has plans to increase sales in the thrift store and through private donations to pay off the building mortgage and invest more into a new program called Women LEAD which helps educate, train, and empower women who have experienced crisis situations and need to enter or re-enter the workforce.

    The organization has two upcoming fundraisers.

    On Sept. 29, there will be a motorcycle ride and car/truck show called the Empowerment Ride. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the ride and show will start at 10. There will be food trucks, bouncy house, and face painting available while the car/truck show is going on. It will be $20 per rider and $20 to enter a car or truck. All proceeds go to the Women LEAD Program.

    The other event is the Blue Jean Ball, the organization’s annual fundraiser on Oct. 13 from 6-10 p.m. There will be live music, DJ, full BBQ dinner, cornhole tournament, and live auction. Tickets will be $40 each or two for $75.

    Sponsors are being accepted for both events.

    For more information on Just HOPE, visit justhopeinc.org or call (336)909-4241.