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Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Mich., our Midwest Region finalist, is the winner of the 2015 Hope Award for Effective Compassion. Grace received a plurality of the 8,000 votes WORLD readers cast, and will receive the check for $25,000 that a generous donor made possible.
Grace, founded as the Pontiac Rescue Mission in 1992, operates an emergency shelter plus a one-year rehabilitation program for men and women who are both homeless and addicted, or domestic violence victims. Almost nine of 10 who stick with rehab for at least four months finish the year-long program and graduate sober. Participants need not believe in God, but they must attend services, submit to random drug tests, and work in the kitchen or at one of Hope’s four thrift stores.
Regional finalists Church Hill Activities & Tutoring of Richmond (East), Heartbeat of Miami (South), Hope House of Idaho (West), and Shivani Medes School (International) will receive $4,000 each. Regional runners-up will receive $1,000 each.
If you’re curious about how we found the regional winners: Our readers nominated groups from their areas that offer challenging, personal, and spiritual help, and do not depend on government financing. Our staffers researched them initially by internet and phone. Our reporters eyeballed and wrote about the most interesting. If you haven’t read about them, please do so at wng.org/compassion.
All of these programs are replicable: Christians do not need any esoteric expertise to go and do likewise in their own neighborhoods. We hope you’ll get a sense of how God is using His people. If you’d like to nominate ministries for the 2016 Hope Award, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org a paragraph with the group’s name and a brief description of what it does.