We had the opportunity to speak with Scott Arthur, Director of Public Relations with the Star of Hope Mission, about the need to fund homelessness during the summer, not just around the holidays.
Please forgive any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Texasbusinessradio.com is the Web site, see the entire thing in beautiful high definition video. We got a wealth of information on there. Charity has to be a big part of your business. If you’ve listened to a show for any length of time you know that, to whom much is given, much is expected and we love our charities here on Texas Business Radio. One of our favorite ones is the Star of Hope Mission out of Houston. Scott Arthur’s a friend of the show. He’s the director of public relations there the Star of Hope Mission. We got him here to talk about some pretty exciting things going on within that organization. I’m your host Matt Register, here as always with Jake Curry. Jay talk to me.
Jay Curry: Well, just like you said Matt, charity and supporting charities is a best business practice. And if you’re in business, you should be supporting a charity or multiple charities. This is a wonderful one. This one with the Star of Hope has a significant impact. And I’m looking forward to hear the activity. There very active group, they are growing, they’re moving. And it’s something people ought to listen and pay attention and also look at your own business. There are some charities out there you should be supporting.
Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt, in the meantime get your questions in a 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line, gets questions in. We’re going to jump right into it. So Scott Arthur, director public relations, Star of Hope, here in Houston. Scott welcome back to the show.
Scott Arthur: Thank you. Good to be here. We love you guys.
Matt Register: For the guys who don’t remember. Give us the quick elevator. What is the Star of Hope Mission. What do you do and who do you do it to?
Scott Arthur: Start of Hope has been in Houston for 110 years. We take care of over a thousand homeless men, women and children every single day, here in Houston. About half of those thousand are women and children. Most people don’t know that. A lot of people know about Star of Hope but they don’t know who we really serve and what we really do. Everybody thinks that homeless is that guy on the street with a sign.
Matt Register: Sure.
Scott Arthur: And you know will work for food. God bless. That’s just the tip of the iceberg and in many cases that guy is probably, that’s his day job.
Matt Register: Right.
Scott Arthur: But we reach out to them as well. But there are so many other cases, women and children and people. Single women and just people who are in trouble. You know God’s broken children. So we reach out to them on a regular basis and yes we’ll help them with immediate crisis care. You know for one day or two or three but we’d rather have you for a year or a year and a half.
Matt Register: Sure.
Scott Arthur: And we can help you with recovery program. Structured recovery programs like…
Matt Register: Training.
Scott Arthur: Training for employment. Education, life skills, strengthening of faith, recovery from substance abuse. That’s what we’re all about.
Matt Register: Well I’ll tell you what, we were talking during the break. And there’s, there’s one thing that really, that really struck me. Talked about the tip of the iceberg being the guy on the corner, right? There is a tremendous amount of hidden homeless that are living on their neighbors so far. You know live with family and friends that others or living in their car some place.
Jay Curry: Bridges, you know.
Matt Register: Right. And this is a very, very significant problem. And you guys do you know, absolutely the Lord’s work, working with these guys and finding ways to get them off the street, to get them to be a productive member of society. But during the summer… everybody gives around Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? Tell me about the Summer of Hope. Because you guys are having a push right now because summer is when you guys have some of the biggest need and you have some of the least amount of revenue coming in. Correct?
Scott Arthur: Exactly, well-stated. We, we need help in the summer. Houston is an incredibly generous, giving town. You know that.
Matt Register: Sure.
Scott Arthur: And November, December is just wonderful. And it literally is Christmas for us. But homelessness is not seasonal. Those people who get the help in December, need that help in June and July as well. And the summer sparks a lot of domestic violence. And domestic, just in security. We get a lot of people who come and they want to hide or they want to they need help. You know, they’re running from something. There’s sex trafficking. Because it’s summer we now have children who are not going to school and having breakfast and lunch. So we have more mouths to feed. In the summer a lot of people decide they want to come to Houston and find a job because the kids are out of school. Let’s take them out. And it doesn’t work out for them and suddenly they’re in a shelter as well. In the summer a lot of those people who do not usually come to a shelter, like you said the hidden homeless, people who are at abandoned buildings and cars and things like that. But it gets so hot, they actually have to force themselves to go into a shelter. All of those, more and more mouths to feed. We need more staff. We need more money. And the summer is not a time when the average Houstonian says let’s give to the homeless.
Matt Register: Well it’s just not top of mind. Right? I mean it’s, it’s not a lack of caring it’s just a lack of it being top of mind. Everybody thinks about it during Thanksgiving, everybody thinks about it during Christmas, right? But the summer is not one of those you would normally think of off top your head, as moment that you guys need it the most. Tell me about… we’re going to cut to some footage real quick of an absolutely incredible almost 50 acre facility. You guys are getting ready to move into in August. Tell me a little bit about your facility and how you managed to get the funding together for this facility, that you’re going to be able to do some incredible work out of.
Scott Arthur: It was a two year capital campaign and the facility is called Star of Hope’s Cornerstone Community. It is 48 acres just about two miles south of energy stadium. It’s off of 288 and Reed road and it’s almost done. It’s an amazing facility. What we’re going to do is take the women and family emergency shelter downtown and our transitional living center and put those two together. Which is roughly about 600 clients, plus staff and put them into this one area. And then a group called New Hope Housing Inc, which does affordable housing around town. They are currently building one, two and three bedroom apartments. And that will be another five hundred beds.
Matt Register: Oh, wow.
Scott Arthur: And then on top of all that, we will have partners that will help with after school activities and guidance and counseling. Will have work faith up there to help us get jobs. It’ll be an amazing thing. We’ll have a chapel, we’ll have a community center, we’ll have a park for the kids to play in. So literally someone can come in off the streets and stay with us for a couple of weeks. Or they can move up into the ranks and go into transitional living because this is a transformational campus. And spend the next year or so either as a single woman or a mom with two or three kids. Learn some life skills, get a GED, get a job and then move across campus into affordable housing. All the while we are there for them. So if they happen to drop through the net or something like that we’re there to catch them.
Matt Register: Well and the goal is they graduate from this. They have a job, they have the skills they need, they have the ability to support themselves out on the economy, right? The goal is to graduate them at some point from you know, bringing them in you know, destitute and needing help to graduating them as self-sufficient, correct?
Scott Arthur: Correct. Productive members of society and independent living.
Matt Register: Oh. That’s absolutely wonderful. There’s one more event we wanted to talk about. Which is an event coming up with a Hollywood movie that’s coming out. Tell me, we have a couple of minutes left, tell me a little bit about the movie that’s coming up.
Scott Arthur: It’s based on a New York Times best seller, that’s still, I think, on the best selling list it’s sold, gosh, over five million copies. It’s called “Same Kind of Different as Me”. And it’s a great story about an art dealer, a guy with Armani suits and gulf jets who befriends a man who has been on the streets for 20 years. And it’s, it’s a great story about the homeless. It’s a love story, it’s a faith based story. And it’s not a small movie. I mean Renee, Renee Zellweger is in it. Jon Voight, great actor by the name of Greg Kinnear. You’ve got the guy by the name of Zaman Hassou, a great African-American actor. I think two of the actors have gotten Academy Awards, two are nominated for Academy Awards. This is going to be released in October. And it’s just going to be a great awareness of the homeless. Not just the homeless you see on the streets but as you were talking about before, the hidden homeless too.
Jay Curry: When’s that coming out?
Scott Arthur: It officially releases, Paramount releases in October the 20th.
Jay Curry: And you’re going to have some kind of grand opening. There a way people can get involved, see good movie and support the Star of Hope.
Scott Arthur: Absolutely, I think about two days ahead of time, we’re going to do at red carpet screening. We’ll probably have you know maybe Ron Hall. Who knows who’s going to show up? Lot of celebrities from all over in town. You guys are invited and you’ll get to see the movie before anybody else in America does.
Matt Register: All right. Wonderful. We’re certainly looking forward to it. OK. The Summer of Hope. Before we end, what is it you’re asking people to do? They need to open their checkbooks and write check, correct?
Scott Arthur: Open their minds, open their checkbooks, open their eyes and see that we do need the help in the summer. So please, go to SOHmission.org and just hit where it says donations and help us out. Listen to podcast, by the way, we now have a podcast series.
Matt Register: OK.
Scott Arthur: It’ll tell you about the Summer of Hope as well. You can go to SOHmission.org and hit podcasts. There are so many different ways to donate. Whether you volunteer, wanna to give us any kind, you want volunteer, give us blankets, give us coats, give us food. But money is always the right size and shape.
Matt Register: No understand and guys, Sohmission.org. We’re going to have that link directly from Texasbusinessradio.com. We actually have it all the, all the time directly linked from Texasbusinessradio.com there at the bottom around our charities. They need your help, open the checkbook, write them a check. These guys do great work. We’ve got a hard break. We’re going to go pay some bills. We’re going to be back right after this. Don’t go anywhere, you don’t have time to go anywhere. We’ll be back for this. We’ve got a whole lot more to cover, we’ll see you.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.