February 23, 2024

Listen to Jan on Hello Lakeshore Podcast

How do we serve those in need?

How many families did we serve in 2023?

What can you do to support us in our mission?

Our Executive Director, Jan Graunke was interviewed on the Hello Lakeshore podcast with United Way last week. She shares updates on our guests finding housing, why our guests have challenges to find housing, and how you can be an active listener to those experiencing a difficult time in their lives.

Listen to the full episode of

Hello Lakeshore with United Way Manitowoc County!


2023 Statistics Year in Review

  • 94 people served (22 families)
  • 33 adults & 61 children (20 under age 5)
  • 5 out of the 22 families were unsheltered (staying in a place not fit for habitation) the night before entry
  • 17% reported a chronic health condition or disability
  • 45% of adults reported history of domestic violence
  • Average length of stay - 92 days
  • 82 leavers - 26 (32%) to permanent housing due to lack of affordable housing

Facts to Know

  • Families with children take priority
  • Families in county take priority
  • We function off of a contact list
  • Our contact list fluctuates with daily inquiries and averages between 50-100 people (in & out of county)
  • We are funded by government grants and private donations. Our donors make it possible for us to continue our mission.
  • Our capacity is 26 people
  • We have 7 bedrooms (one per family)
  • Familes have two full kitchens, full laundry facilities, a large indoor playroom & secure playground to use
  • Our aftercare program, Home With Hope, provides ongoing case management for those families who want to continue working with us to help maintain their housing stability.

Volunteer Weekend Shifts

Here are the open volunteer weekend shifts coming up. If you are able to volunteer & support our families, email Kristin or call the office at 920-686-1436.

February 2024

Sun Feb 25 - 3rd shift

March 2024

Sat Mar 9 - 1st and 2nd shifts

Sun Mar 10 - 2nd and 3rd shifts

Sat Mar 23 - All shifts

Sun Mar 24 - 2nd and 3rd shifts

Weekend shift times are:

1st shift: 8-11 AM

2nd Shift: 11 AM-2 PM

3rd Shift: 2-5 PM

Making a Difference with Each Donation

Join us for The Family Radio's annual Help for the Homeless Hygiene Drive collecting new personal care and cleaning products for local crisis agencies February 11-March 3. Donate supplies at Festival Foods & Walgreens Stores or at many business and church locations. The drive helps 9 local non-profits direct the limited financial resources they have to provide qualified personnel, safe housing, nutritious food, education, counseling, etc. to those they serve.

Visit their webpage

Briess Malt & Ingredients Co Gives to our Families

When Sales & Marketing at Briess come together, assisting community partners and the people who live there are at the top of their list.

This week, members of the sales teams from across the country gathered for meetings and gave back to our community. They visited the Lakeshore Humane Society, Peter's Pantry, and Hope House to help clean our well used playroom. It warms our hearts to see the goodwill they all bring to our community.

Donations & Updates


We have a generous community who supports us with many donations. We are grateful, and so are our families. We often have people bringing in items from our Wish List which helps us out tremendously! Especially when we are at capacity up to 26 people. We can never have enough Lysol, toilet paper, laundry detergent, and paper towels.

Our needs are ever changing. Please give us a call prior to dropping off your donation. We thank you for your continued support.

Immediate Wish List Needs Include:​​​

  • Diapers Size 4, 5 and 6
  • Kid's 3-in-1 wash
  • Kid's toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • New standard size bed pillows
  • New bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths
  • Twin XL size bed sheets
  • Men's & women's adult body wash
  • Walmart gift cards - $10 or $20 increment
  • Zippered mattress protectors size Twin XL. Each bed in shelter needs a protector cover and we are running low. They must have a zipper closure since multiple people use the mattresses.

Would you like to donate items without having to shop and deliver to us? See our Wish List on Amazon. Easy order and ship to our doorstep!

Amazon Wish List
Our Full Wish List

Cash donations are always needed and very much appreciated. Your financial contributions help with paying our utility bills and other operating costs associated with providing housing for those in need. 

Donate to Our Families

Guest Updates


Who's in Shelter?

24 Guests - welcome to a new mom and son last week

9 Adults & 15 Children:

Ages: 15, 14, 14, 13, 13, 13, 12, 12, 11, 8, 5, 4, 2, 2, 1


Why Hope House Succeeds

Families arriving at Hope House following a period of homelessness have a vast variety of needs and potential barriers to permanent housing. As case managers, part of our job is to meet regularly with our guests to help them identify those needs and barriers and provide resources to assist them. This process may take only a couple of weeks, or several months depending on each family’s situation.

Our donors make it possible for us to continue our mission of helping families and individuals experiencing homelessness achieve sustainable independence. The success stories of our guests would not be possible without community support.


In Their Words

"I'm improving every day. My family is grateful to have a place to stay."

-- Susan, guest Mom & 3 children moved to their new apartment

“While being at Hope House, I was faced with many challenges. Throughout my stay here, the staff always had my family’s best interests in mind. They pushed for me to meet my goals. The love and support they have given will stay with me and my kids forever.” – Tia, guest

Each donation shows those struggling to find housing and meeting their goals that they are supported. We cannot do this without your help. Thank you.


Advice and Guidance for our Guests

We all know that when you spend time at Hope House volunteering, you hear lots of noise, giggles, talking, playing, running and much more. And with more than 20 people can be challenging!

When guests move in to Hope House, they are in crisis mode looking for a place to stay and get help to get back on their feet. Everyone copes in their own way -- it may be quietly in their room, or it may be talking with others. We definitely encourage your interaction with our families, and from family to family, as they can share valuable information with each other about apartments, jobs, or other resources. Many share common concerns and can provide support.

We've had moms often ask staff and volunteers for parenting tips, or how to get their child to eat, and more. You can always provide encouragement and understanding of their situation. The one thing we recommend is to ask them if they have talked to their case manager about the issue? Often times it can be topics or behavioral concerns that we have resources to provide to help them. It can also be an ongoing issue that we want to know about, too. Please leave a note in the communications binder (FIP) if certain topics are discussed as something may present a repeated pattern that the case manager needs to know. We can then address the issues in their case management meetings.

You can tell the guest they can always email their questions to their case manager, or they can hand write a note and put it in the black mailbox on the closed office door. Sometimes it's the friendly ear to listen that they need, and we appreciate your dedicated support to be there for them.

Thank you for being a guiding light as they work on their goals!


“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

~Elizabeth Andrew

Deliver Hope With Us!

Become a Volunteer

“I volunteer at Hope House because I like to know I am helping those less fortunate who have come upon hard times. It's rewarding to give back to my community.”

- Volunteer serving for 6 years

To all of our volunteers, we celebrate you and THANK YOU for all that you do! Would you or a friend like to join our volunteer team?

We are a shelter that operates with a small but mighty team of employees. Our shelter is able to serve homeless families in Manitowoc County due to the gift of time from our dedicated, passionate and amazing volunteers. Hope House is supported by an interfaith network of congregations and volunteers, and these volunteers provide thousands of hours of service to Hope House each year. Three hour shifts available from 5-8 pm, or on the weekends.

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can serve our community and support our mission. We work directly with people going through difficulties that are associated with homelessness. Because of our faithful volunteers, we are able to provide shelter, support, food and resources to help them achieve sustainable independence.

We would love to have you bring your talents and passion to Hope House through volunteering. We have nightly 5-8pm shifts, 3 hour shifts during the daytime weekends from 8-11am, 11am-2pm, and 2-5pm; and also special projects as needed. We will find out what works best for you!


Our volunteer training is available online and will share our policies and procedures, along with more information about our residents and homelessness.

How to Apply as a Volunteer?

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or would like to hear more about volunteer opportunities, please complete our form online to introduce yourself so we can work together to create a giving experience that will effectively serve community & meet your needs as a volunteer.

Sign Me Up to Become a Volunteer

Join Us on Facebook!