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Living Hope Transitional Homes

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    For this week’s Survivor issue, we learn about Living Hope Transitional Homes, a peaceful retreat for women choosing to recover and escape from abuse and homelessness. Learn more about this local oasis for hundreds of area women who have turned their tragedy into triumph.

    Ranee Hinton, executive director at Living Hope
    Ranee Hinton, executive director at Living Hope
    For domestic violence victims, home is a scary place. That’s where Living Hope Transitional Homes aims to help, providing not only a safe and happy home, but also the love and life skills the women need to build a new future.

    This five-bedroom transitional home, located on the West Side of Cincinnati, is specifically designed for women who have escaped homelessness and abuse. “At Living Hope, the transitional home provides life skills, job training, education, budgeting, meal planning, parenting skills and spiritual growth – all skills women need who are seeking to change their lives and become self sufficient,” says Ranee Hinton, executive director at Living Hope. “The women that reside at Living Hope commit to a year of programming with us, and graduate when they gain full-time employment and can be self sufficient.”

    In addition to the year-long program with Living Hope, Hinton says there’s also a 2nd Step Home, a four-family home that provides apartment living at below market rent to the women of Living Hope once they’ve graduated the program. Those in the 2nd Step Home are still committed to programming as they learn to adjust to life on their own. Hinton says they typically stay in the 2nd Step Home for about six months, until they can find a place of their own to call home.

    Living Hope has been in Cincinnati for nearly 10 years, and Hinton joined the team in Jan. 2015. She says she was inspired by the the founder of Living Hope, who experienced and rose above abuse herself. “She saw a need for this in the community and wanted to instill the same values in women that helped her to achieve success,” says Hinton.

    When it comes to helping women in the Tri-State, Hinton says that Living Hope Transitional Home serves as a peaceful retreat for women who have chosen to escape abuse and homelessness and recover from undue struggle. “Together we provide a loving and supportive family dynamic and all the tools necessary that allow them to start over and be empowered to live independently and successfully,” she adds.

    Living Hope’s Life Skills program helps to foster growth, renew faith, establish trust, form meaningful and long-term positive relationships, develop skills and talents, start careers, master budgeting and time management, develop healthy and loving parenting skills and instill a sense of pride that allows women to walk out a little taller than when they came in.

    “We are a family,” says Hinton. “Our Program Director and Life Skills coach assist them in obtaining their GEDs, if necessary, as well as with budgeting, transportation, job training, computer training, parenting skills, meal planning and spiritual growth. We provide all the tools necessary to help them achieve success long after their time at Living Hope.”

    Hinton says Living Hope aims to provide sustainable empowerment, rather than just hand-outs. “When a woman leaves Living Hope, she will have gained successful employment and will be self sufficient,” says Hinton. “When we empower a woman, we empower a community. She will have the values instilled in her that she will pass down to her children. They will no longer be a victim to abuse, and they will have a sense of pride and confidence that will trickle down to generations after them.”

    Hinton emphasizes that Living Hope is a home, not a shelter. “There’s a family dynamic built on love at Living Hope,” she explains. “The home can house up to five women and their children at a time while the group provides support and encouragement.”

    When asked about the work she does with Living Hope, Hinton says the most rewarding is being able to witness love and magic. “I see women that come in beat down by life, and sometimes by individuals,” she says. “I am amazed every day at the commitment they made to themselves and their families to move forward and find and follow the good path. I think they are incredible.”

    She adds that being able to leave behind previous attachments, whether positive or negative, and commit to a rigorous “boot camp for life” is a big task. “I don’t know many people that have the strength to overcome what they have,” Hinton says.

    Hinton says she’s witnessed women battling abuse, drug addictions, homelessness and starvation all come through the program and rise above to become loving, giving, thoughtful, successful pillars of the community. “I see the love they have for their children, often times their driving force,” she says. “I see them being an inspiration to women who are struggling. I watch them become new moms and have the natural ability to nurture. I see them develop from once-broken, to wholeness in love and life and light. Everyday, I see smiles and joy and obstacles overcome. I see a community that supports women in need and believes in them. I see them fighting against all odds and succeeding. It’s truly wonderful.”

    Unfortunately, there is a need for Living Hope to grow. Hinton says she would like to raise enough funds to purchase another home for when families are just too large to live in the current home. In addition, Hinton is seeking support and donations to help Living Hope build a learning center so residents have access to computers, a library and all the tools necessary to succeed in a technologically-advanced world.

    “With the amount of homeless women in our city, my vision is to have multiple transitional homes so we can continue to enrich and transform the lives of women who need our help,” explains Hinton. “I want to continue to connect with philanthropists, business leaders and the community to raise enough funds to keep Living Hope alive and support it’s growth. It’s so necessary and essential for women in need.”

    Hinton adds that Living Hope relies on donations from individuals and private foundations to keep the program going and in order for their work to continue to empower women, they need the community and new supporters to consider making financial contributions to the cause.

    To learn more about Living Hope, visit www.lhth.org or you can “like” their Facebook page.

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