STORIES OF HOPE

  • A Time of Kingdom Clarity
    A Time of Kingdom Clarity. A devotional written by Eloy Gonzalez, BHITC's Manager of Ministry Engagement, in response to the series of recent violent events against men and women of color. […]
  • BHITC’s COVID-19 Response Efforts
    Over the past 7 weeks, COVID-19 has caused BHITC to rethink and relearn what it looks like to love neighbors, care for the newcomer and come alongside the most vulnerable in the city. It's been a season of great challenge for so many, but BHITC also sees the opportunity for the Church to #riseup and embody the love of Christ towards those disproportionately affected by this pandemic. Read about the organization's response efforts here. […]
  • Hope to Local Economy Coming Through Common Threads – Brook Park
    As the Proverb goes: In a person’s heart, he plans his own way,but the Lord directs his steps.* When BHITC announced theopening of a Common Threads – Brook Park location in February 2020, the organization intended to open sometime this summer. At that moment, only God knew the timeline would change in the wake of global developments, but, by His grace, plans to open still move forward! […]
  • When Generosity is a Lifestyle, Big Things Happen – Entire Houses Get Donated!
    God’s plans can sometimes be a mystery, yet He asks us to trust him and not doubt.  Just when it seems clear what He is asking you to do, circumstances can seemingly fall apart or fail to materialize in the way that you thought, at times leaving believers scratching their heads. For one local family, the decision to faithfully practice generosity as a lifestyle, season after season, was clear, but what God was doing through it took years to fully materialize. […]
  • Exciting Progress and Additions Move Forward for Immigrant and Refugee Community
    In January, The Hope Center began phase one of its long-awaited renovation plans to improve the appearance and functionality of the building.  New flooring was installed in the Gathering Room (the sanctuary of the former church), where the stage area was also reconstructed and redesigned.  CareSource Foundation and Three Arches Foundation fund launch of groups who now meet regularly at The Hope Center to discuss in their first language the difficulty of adjusting to life in Cleveland after experiencing so much personal loss and adversity. Plus, Legacy Collective funds new computer lab to bridge the digital divide! […]
  • Meet Geeta!
    When Geeta Sharma walked into The Hope Center in 2016 to begin the process for U.S. citizenship, little did she know that two of her biggest dreams: to become an American citizen and to pursue her goal to be part of the legal field, were about to come true. A strong family, an even stronger sense of personal motivation and a love of learning has shaped Geeta her whole life. They helped her survive becoming a child refugee in 1998 in Nepal and being sent by her family from Nepal to India for school, where she lived with her aunt. […]
  • A Certain Faith for Uncertain Times
    It's been a jarring few weeks across our nation and world amidst the unfolding COVID-19 epidemic. BHITC remains as flexible as possible to care for staff, volunteers, partners and communities. COVID-19 is prompting a lot of questions for the Body of Christ right now, especially as many churches shift to a largely online presence and Christians are increasingly isolated.How does the Church respond? What does Christ-like love look like in this moment? Find out here. […]
  • Lessons Learned by Following God into Urban Neighborhoods
    Dr. Randy White spoke in Cleveland in January. He offered 25+ years of incarnational urban ministry leadership to Cleveland, having served neighborhoods struggling with deep poverty. Randy graciously offered his time for an interview before his time in town, and here's what he had to say! […]
  • The Dividends from the Lord’s Work
    Doing the Lord’s work generates many beneficiaries. As mentioned in the previous story, BHITC recently dedicated its fifth housing renovation project on Trowbridge Avenue with eight previously homeless veterans already moved in. Yet, as God always would have it, the blessings produce a return to the givers, as well as the recipients. For members at Bethel Lutheran Church located in Bath and Fellowship Bible Church located in Chagrin Falls, who helped turn the dreams of the Trowbridge project’s tenants into realities, the spiritual dividends are high. […]
  • First-Ever Rally CLE Held in September!
    On Saturday, September 21, BHITC kicked off its first-ever Rally CLE event, a new initiative and key element to its community development efforts in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton and Stockyards (CFSY) neighborhoods. The event, which will become a recurring effort, is centered on supporting the ideas residents in these neighborhoods have for improving their own community. Whether it’s a garden, mural, or a community toolshed, BHITC wants to help leverage the leadership that already exists in these neighborhoods through Rally CLE.  […]
  • A True Labor of Love – Home by Home, Street by Street
    “Housing is the building block of neighborhoods, especially neglected urban neighborhoods. Leveraging the capacity of the Church to impact housing sends a powerful witness about the lordship of Jesus,” says Brian Upton, Executive Director, BHITC. In the spring newsletter, BHITC expanded upon its housing and community development initiative, which is part of a 10-year vision, and provided an update on a housing project for veterans, located on Trowbridge Avenue in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood. […]
  • From Humble Beginnings, God Planted the Seeds of BHITC 20+ Years Ago
    While many faces have changed, the roots of BHITC have always been the same. Humility, dignity, grace and restoration – for people, family, neighborhood, city and world. Phyliss Boggs knows this to be true more than most connected to the BHITC family. Before the organization was officially established, she was invited by a co-worker in the late 1990’s to what was then called “Food for Thought,” a time every Tuesday over lunch where people from downtown – office people and the homeless from the streets – gathered for both tangible and spiritual food. […]
  • Mentoring One Refugee Family Leads to the Welcoming of Many More Refugee Families to Cleveland
    A pairing meant to help Sarpaz Qader’s family resettle in America has flowered into a friendship that spans generations. Volunteer at The Hope Center for Refugees and Immigrants, Karen Vaughn became the Kurdish family’s mentor about five years ago, helping them navigate the challenges of building a new life in a country where they didn’t speak the language or understand the culture. Over time, that relationship has deepened. […]
  • God Loves Cities – A review of ‘Encounter God in the City’
    God loves cities. And as author Randy White reminds us, not only does God love them, but He uses cities to protect and prosper people. […]
  • Housing is Just the Beginning
    Community instability is the single largest obstacle to Kingdom work in urban neighborhoods. In its 15+ years of urban ministry, BHITC has seen and heard the impact of poverty first-hand from churches, church planters, fellow non-profits and families connected to its ministries, and the outcomes are undisputable.  In situations of poverty, people often find themselves forced to move for a variety of reasons, and as a result, faith communities in these types of neighborhoods never see outcomes that reflect their level of investment and relationship with its people. […]
  • Hear from Dr. Don Davis, Founder and Director, The Urban Ministry Institute, World Impact
    Great church planting movements have a few key ingredients. Don Davis spoke in Cleveland in early April, and hopefully you caught him in person, but even if you did, you might like to hear his heart on church planting movements again. […]
  • The Next Era of Building Hope in the City
    As you might remember, 2018 was Building Hope in the City’s (BHITC) 15th anniversary year. As the organization and its board of directors reflected on those years, adjustments to more clearly reflect the heart of the ministries led to a rewriting of the mission statement and a reframing of the program structure. The overall goal with the changes is to structure BHITC’s ministries around WHY and HOW the organization does what it does, rather than focusing on the programs themselves. […]
  • West Park Residents Drawn to Volunteer at The Hope Center
    Refugees and immigrants from around the world use services at BHITC’s The Hope Center (The Center), and some of its volunteers come from right around the corner! Their West Park neighborhood has been home to The Center since 2015 and many of The Hope Center students are their neighbors. Eileen Wilson, BHITC’s Director of Refugee and Immigrant Ministries, estimates 75 percent of the students at The Center live in West Park or nearby in Lakewood. “These volunteers are not just helping, but actually walking life with people. The Hope Center, in a way, is reshaping the neighborhood.” […]
  • Joint Mission Between Refugee and Volunteer Leads to Citizenship
    “May God bless them.”  Racheal Reech’s words, punctuated by her megawatt smile, reflect her gratitude to the volunteers at BHITC’s The Hope Center (The Center) and its staff who helped her become an American citizen earlier this year. […]
  • God’s Plan (and Footprint!) for Common Threads is Growing
    A little more than five short years ago, the staff and board of BHITC dreamed of what else God could do through its ministries for the people and the city of Cleveland.  In March of 2016, BHITC signed a lease for 22049 Lorain Road in Fairview Park with a dream of supporting the organization through businesses that do good – social enterprises – the first of which would be a thrift store located in this space.  […]