Summer of Hope: How you can help Houston's new needy


by Allison Triarsi & Michelle Homer / 11 News

Posted on August 2, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 6 at 5:01 PM

HOUSTON— The Star of Hope Women and Family Shelter is housing more homeless people than ever before, and half of them are children.

On some nights, as many as 100 people are forced to sleep on the floor because there simply aren’t enough beds for everyone.

Raymond Maracle is among the new needy. He is staying at the shelter with his wife and two children. Maracle is out every day trying to find a job and said he’ll take anything at this point.

He just wants to get his family out of the shelter.

"My 1-year-old son has gotten a bad cold or something, some infections from living like this," Maracle said. 

Casey Dunn is a Star of Hope success story. He found himself at the shelter after losing his job and his home.

"I had panic attacks whenever I first came here because I was scared," Dunn said.

Dunn now has a job and will soon leave the shelter. But he won’t forget the help and hope they gave him.

"Every day, even though I’m in here, I pray for God to give me someone to help, and if a homeless person can help somebody out, then anybody can," Dunn said.

While the number of homeless people who need help is up, donations are down, leaving the shelter with a $700,000 shortfall.

"We’re reaching, we’re hurting," said Scott Arthur with the Star of Hope. "We need help. Otherwise, we’re going to have to stop some of the programs." 

KHOU is teaming up with the Star of Hope to raise money for its Summer of Hope campaign.

As of Friday afternoon, more than $80,000 dollars had been raised for the cause.

There are several ways you can help. For more information or to donate online, click here.

You can also donate $10 just by using your cell phone. Text "SOH" to 20222. An automatic $10 contribution will go to the shelter.

Checks, cash and other donations can also be dropped off at any Star of Hope shelter.

Urgent needs include: diapers; baby powder; shaving cream; razors; deodorant; travel size soap; and bottled water.

Other needs include: new underwear for men, women and children; socks; plus-size women’s clothing appropriate for job interviews; pillows; blankets; towels; toilet paper; strollers; flash lights; ground meat; chicken; breakfast sausage; bread; and batteries.