Place of Hope History
"After the fire in 1905, St. Raphael's Hospital (II) was restored and the 3rd and 4th floors added on; this increased its capacity to 90 beds. The building to the right of the hospital was then converted from an art/music academy to St. Raphael's Hospital School of Nursing (1908-1928). In 1915 the School of Nursing received state accreditation and in 1928 was moved to the new St. Cloud Hospital. [SBMA, McDonald, pp. 258-259]."
This historical building once served wounded men of WWI.
Travel back to 1885 when this site was first occupied. See the surgical room from 1909. It is all at the Minnesota Reflections website: Click Here
Today, it is the home of Place of Hope Ministries.
The long-time vision of Assembly of God co-pastors/MN home missionaries Geary and Carol Jean Smith became a reality in spring 1997 when they established Place of Hope Ministries (POHM) in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. From the beginning, POHM has been a multi-denominational ministry, including an outreach to area churches. Pastors Carol and Geary believe that individuals have a right to food, shelter and dignity in living as a basic human need.
- Started a home missions church outreach to the "streets" in 1997 with a storefront Drop-in Center and Sunday worship Services at the Center.
- Began helping people find jobs, housing, and more meaningful lives.
- Began handing out free clothes and food and serving free community meals.
- Founded Project H.E.A.L., a free medical screening clinic in cooperation with Mid Minnesota Family Practice Clinic and the Saint Cloud hospital.
- Started "Recovering Hope" classes – a discipleship program using National Teen Challenge curriculum through the POHM Outreach Program and at two county jails. Over 75 people have taken advantage of the program so far.
- Purchased the former St. Raphael's Convent building and initiated the "adopt a room" program to prepare the building for occupancy.
- Various churches, businesses, groups and individual volunteers from central Minnesota came to paint, decorate, and repair old electrical and plumbing fixtures in the guest rooms — paying for much of it themselves!
- Instituted the "Church of the Week (COTW) Sheltering Program," currently serving over 300 men, women and children each year (many using the program several times each month) — an invaluable additional resource to the homeless. This program is a cooperative effort with area churches to provide shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness.
- Provided blankets and personal care items to those in need.
- Started an Urban Bible Training Center school; approximately 25 have attended the school. Graduates obtain ministerial licensing which provides a vocation.
- Received the MN Jail Program of the Year Award for the POH City Church jail ministry.
- Began hosting a Christ-centered Alcoholics Anonymous group, Network for Life, a Prison Fellowship aftercare support group, and a Spanish-speaking AA group.
- Hosted the first joint Hispanic/English Place of Hope Church meeting with over 160 in attendance.
- POHM formed the Minnesota Urban Alliance with Saint Paul City Church and Inner City Church of Minneapolis, and successfully instituted a $1.75 million capital campaign. The POHM portion was used to pay-off part of the mortgage on the ministry buildings.
- POHM (Place of Hope Housing Corporation) begin moving forward with plans for "Hope on Ninth," a 31-unit subsidized supportive low-income housing unit for those experiencing long-term homelessness. Onsite property management and tenant counseling services will be included to help tenants remain in the housing facility and avoid returning to "life on the streets." The housing facility will be located on POHM property and represents the cooperative effort of several agencies responding to the critical need to house those struggling with homelessness and substandard housing. The facility is scheduled for occupancy in February, 2008.
- Construction complete for the new "Hope on Ninth" permanent supportive housing facility for those experiencing homelessness.
Saint Cloud United Way surveys, the 2006 Maxfield Study, Saint Cloud Times articles and other information indicate that the homeless population growth rate is increasing at an alarming rate each year. Place of Hope Ministries agrees, as it sees continuing high use of its Church of the Week homeless sheltering program. POHM believes that individuals have a right to food, shelter and dignity of living as a basic human need. More than thirty area churches and organizations regularly partner with Place of Hope, volunteering time and resources for its Church of the Week and homeless meals programs. In 2004 the ministry was awarded the Saint Cloud Mayor's "High-Five" Award attesting to the incredible success of its Church of the Week homeless sheltering and food program.
The Place of Hope Ministries Residential Program ministers to those with chronic addiction and despair by providing a place to rebuild, restore, and repair the broken places in their lives. It is a Christ-centered multi-faceted ministry for those who are struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness, chemical or other life-controlling addictions. When participants graduate from the six-month residential program, they have normally gained victory over root causes of the life problems that brought them to POHM. They have attained inter-dependent self-sufficiency and are in a position to begin giving back to their families and communities.