Bayamón, Puerto Rico
The Hope Builders Home, located in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, is a shelter for children less than five years of age. The home houses boys, victims of abuse, orphans, and runaways. These children have been removed from their homes (if they had homes) by the Department of the Family, and they can stay in the Hope Builders Home until they reach an age of independence.
The following are recent successes enjoyed by the Hope Builders Home:
- Proposals approved by the United Way of Puerto Rico, Legislative Funds, the Department of Justice, Title I, and the Department of Education. These funds were approved for direct services to the children.
- Participated in a FEMA emergency food program.
- Participated in a federal Soup Kitchen program that involved provision of food through schools.
- The children participated in church and community programs and Disciples of Christ church summer camps.
- A fence, bathrooms, and storage area for physical education equipment were constructed and asphalt was applied to the parking lot.
- Received a 16-passenger van through a Department of Justice proposal and computers donated by Microsoft.
- Received support from 43 Disciples of Christ churches, the Disciples of Christ Church in Puerto Rico, and Global Ministries. The support from Global Ministries funds expenses such as water, electricity, telephone, and fuel.
- One youth completed his training in light mechanics and has a job. Another young person completed training as a chef and is working and living independently. A third youth is currently studying computer repair and installation.
- Three children have scholarships to attend a music institute. One youth took a placement exam and was placed in the ninth grade. Two others are currently preparing for their placement exams.
- In general, significant gains in activities, feelings, academic achievement, and spirituality reinforce the home’s resolve to continue forward.
Despite these successes, the Hope Builders Home continues to struggle to meet the needs of the children. Because of their life experiences, pain, insecurity, lack of confidence, and depression are common among the children. It is a great challenge to be able to deal with each child individually to provide him the services he needs. These services include psychological counseling, psychiatry, social work, nursing, direction from a mother figure, chaplain services, and Christian education.
Future plans for the Hope Builders Home include construction of a recreational area, a gazebo, and a garage appropriate for the home’s vehicles complete with car washing equipment. In addition the Home hopes to acquire industrial clippers, and change the windows in the dormitories.