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Matt 25 Hope Center is a One-Stop Community Resource Center for Clovis Residents

By S. Mathur

Matt 25 Hope Center is a community resource in Clovis, NM inspired by the words of Matthew 25:
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me." (Matthew 25:35-36 NIV)

These serve as a mission statement for the center, which provides a focal point in the community for those looking for help, and for those seeking to help others in need.

The Center opened its doors in 2006 in a disused hospital building that had been empty for nearly twenty years. It offered assistance to the community in the form of food and clothing, support groups for women and men, and computer learning classes. The Rainbow Reading Room was set up as a childcare center, and part of the basement was renovated for Boy Scout troops.

Over the years, it has come to known as the Hope Center, a one-stop community resource. Director Steve Reshetar explains its position in the community: "Our role in the community is to provide both a place for helping agencies and leadership/encouragement/teambuilding/etc. to strengthen the role of our non-profits. Currently 13 entities operate out of our facility meeting a host of needs. Our goal is to become the One-Stop-Shop for help in our community."

The programs and ministries based at the Center include Meals on Wheels, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, CASA, the United Way, the Bread of Life ministry which runs a food pantry, Wish Upon a Star, the G.L.U. Factory which mentors families, children ex-offenders, probationers, and parolees and a community garden. Gabriel's Garden is a source of fresh produce for the community.

The Life Skills program helps people work through issues that are holding them back, says Reshetar: "Our Life skills program deals with arrested development issues rooted in childhood wounds. These issues surface in many different ways from substance abuse, anger, relationship difficulties, work related problems, and more. It brings maturity and builds character that helps people function better and many ways. It's a 26 week long group session class. Virtually everyone can benefit from this class because it gets us to the root of what is causing us difficulty."

The Center has a team of dedicated counselors to help those who are ready to receive it, he adds "Our counselors are licensed counselors that address a number of different needs. We do DWI counseling for the county and see individuals for various issues and can bill Medicaid or most insurances. Another focus is PTSD and Infant Mental Health."

Donations to fund the programs always welcome, as are volunteers. Volunteer opportunities include working in the community garden, office work, maintenance and landscaping and tutoring in the Whiz Kids program. Volunteers can also choose to become Big Brothers or Big Sisters or children's advocates through CASA.

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