We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Hatcher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I began our non profit (Hope Impacts) that serve the homeless it was because no one else in our community was addressing such an important issue and I felt that it was an social injustice concern that someone needed to do something about. I acknowledge that homeless can happen to anyone, at any time for a multitude of reasons. The fact that we live in a time where there are no long term solutions to the problem of homelessness stirred up a dedication to address the problem, at least, in my neighborhood. We can be part of a solution or part of a problem. My goal is to create solutions and advocate for those that may not be able to advocate for themselves. I believe everyone should be “seen” and ” heard” and stigmas associated with homelessness are demoralizing and demeaning to the people affected- both situationally and chronically. There is no ” one size fits all” for life events like homelessness. Only by the grace of God go any of us! We have family and friends that could have been homeless without a support system. Including me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”. This is my life verse and our nonprofit verse as well. I named our nonprofit Hope Impacts because I believe what this verse states! This promise that has proven true in my life over and over again. Although life is not easy, although challenges come, although things around us may be out of our control ( nothing is really in our control by the way) although we may not know what the outcome of our situation will be – Gods promise is that he had a plan for our lives. He can work through all things to give us hope and a future. I know that everything God has brought me through in my life was preparing me for THIS! HOPE impacts lives. What am I doing to offer HOPE to a hurting world? of course our true hope is in Christ, but if I am not loving on people with God’s love how are they going to understand that hope exists? How did I get here? If someone had told me that in my 50’s I would be the Founder and Executive Director of a non profit that helped the homeless I would have told them they had the wrong girl. When GOD calls you to do something- how can you NOT be obedient to it? I wasn’t looking for this job. I was looking for God to send someone to address homelessness in my community. I was NOT expecting him to send me- but as I shook my fist and cried out that it was not ok that there were homeless people living in my prosperous community of Katy, TX and no one was doing ANYTHING about it. I heard a small whisper in my soul “what are YOU going to do about it Tina? That’s why I created YOU” Whatever your views are about the Matthew West song ” Do Something” it touched my soul and I realized if I wanted a solution to a problem that weighed heavy on my heart then it was up to me to do something to address it. It was not easy. I started in 2013 piling items in the the back seat of my car taking out food, water, blankets, clothes, sleeping bags, etc. I wanted the homeless in my community to know I saw them and I cared about them. As I listened to their life stories I realized that meeting those immediate basic needs was offering them a bandaid for a larger wound, but there was not really any “wound care” that was happening. in 2014 I started the non profit www.hopeimpacts.org. For 2 years I worked a fulltime job and went out on the streets in the nights and on the weekends trying to impacts Hope in the lives of the homeless in my community, As I started to meet with others who wanted to see real change in the lives we were touching the frustration grew that so much more needed to be done. I also recognized something else. God had brought me through experiences in my own life that echoed in the stories I was hearing. Stories of abuse, insecurity, mental health issues, addiction issues, hopelessness, hurt, anger, fear, pride, under employment, no employment, health issues, loss of a loved one, a dark past, fixed income, etc. These experiences affect us all don’t they? If not us personally then someone we love. so what do we do to overcome those challenges? Often times the answer may just be- loving people where they are but too much to leave them there. Just like God loves me. We are all changed by a supportive community. We change the lives of the homeless by building relationships with them and offering them a safe, encouraging place to build community. It changes the lives of our staff, our volunteers, our sponsors, our donors and our partners too. Often I may not really be able to change a life situation but I can listen, I can love, I can offer a listening ear, a caring heart, and I can point them to resources and referrals they may not have otherwise known were available to them. As we share meals with others not like us- we realize that if we build a bigger table the walls are torn down. These homeless people most of all are just people. Just like we are. I treat them the way that I want to be treated. It’s healing. It’s hopeful. It’s a blessing for them- but most of all for me. Dealing with people can be challenging. People come with a past. Issues happen in real relationships. Life gets messy. It’s SO worth it in the end. Seeing lives change. Seeing people get sober. Seeing struggling people get jobs. Helping someone that sees no hope to a place where they are hopeful. What makes us different than other organizations? I consider us a relational organization more than a transactional one. We become a family. The Hope Impacts family steps in where there may be a destructive birth or street family. People know that we are in it for the long haul. Even when we get you help and you move away from us we are connected as long as you want to be part of our family. We are here for you. Whether we are offering a hot meal, a shower, and a back pack, or sitting next to you in the hospital, or taking you to rehab, or moving you into your home after years on the street. We celebrate with you. We mourn with you. We encourage you that your life can get better. We assure you that your past does not dictate your future. We pray with you. If you leave our family to your home in heaven we celebrate what your life meant to us. We partner with other non profits, businesses, churches, and individuals to offer help that many of us take for granted. Through partnerships we are able to help with medical care, glasses, dental care, clothing, food, hygiene, mental health care, rehabs, shelters, personal care homes, group homes and offer connections if we can not meet a need ourselves. We rely on our whole community to help us see lives changed. Collaboration is key for transformation. None of us can do everything, We are better together than we are alone. God has allowed us to see over 175 people in our community go from homeless to housed. That is a huge blessing! More than that he has allowed us to see people gain hope, reconnect with family, get jobs, get transportation, get sober, get help , live with hope, and believe that their lives can and will get better. If we can’t get you a house on Earth, more important than that we want to see you when we get to heaven. People matter to God and they should matter to us! There is not a person on this planet that God does not see potential in. He created us all with a purpose and a plan, and a hope and a future. Let’s live like we believe that. I do! Our story is simply this- we offer hope to the Homeless. Whatever that hope looks like for each person may be different. but our goal is to provide them with community and resources that allow them to achieve that purpose and plan for a hope and a future for THEM. Hope Impacts lives!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we are talking PreCovid19 I am a native Houstonian. Its a great place filled with culture and the best food, entertainment, and diversity. I love trying new things and experiencing new fun ways to enjoy life with my family and friends. I live in Katy and we have great restaurants! I would find out what their favorite food is and treat them to my favorite local restaurant that serves their favorite foods. I would take them downtown to watch a live show. Depending on weather they want to hear music, see a dance, or a play would depend on where we go. If its available we may go see a free show at Miller Outdoor Theatre, or catch a drive in movie at ShowBoat drive in. I would take them to a local bar and listen to some great talent in a cozy atmosphere. We may go to a craft beer establishment and play some games, or to a local tea house and play jenga. It might be fun to go dancing – I love line dancing! I also love the water and would take them to Kemah or Galveston and go out on a boat to fish and relax. Karoake is a fun night out! Here are some local favorites Rays Mexican Restaurant – fabulous Margaritas! 870 Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450 Astor Farm to Table- small establishment with amazing food! 1520 S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450 Bretts BBQ- best BBQ you will EVER eat!- 606 Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450 BattleHops Brewing- games and beers! 6801 Hwy Blvd, Katy, Tx 77494 Tiger Noodle House- Asian cuisine- 21977 Katy Fwy Katy, TX 77450 Pho Saigon- best pho around! 890 Mason Rd, Katy, Tx 77450 Im blessed to live off Mason road as you can see! Entertainment Houston Zoo Museums Discovery Green Alley Theatre Jones Hall The Hobby Center The Wortham Center Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Theatre Under the Stars A.D Players Ensemble Theatre Main Street Theatre Orange Show NASA too many things to choose from! take your pick!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Most of all ” Thank you” to God for calling me to make a difference in the lives of our homeless friends and neighbors and all the experiences you took me through to allow me to find the purpose and plan you have for me! “Thank you” to my family for supporting me and being involved in Hope Impacts! I would not be where I am without you all. Thank you to those that have gone before me that show me we can change the lives of those experiencing homelessness! Jimmy Dorrell and Alan Graham your stories of transformational work with the homeless inspire me Thank you to our staff, partners, volunteers, sponsors, and donors that makes our work possible to serve the homeless and meet their needs! We can’t do what we do without you. To the non profit THE 25 GROUP that believed in our cause enough to allow me to quit my Full Time job and pursue my dreams of doing this work Full Time by providing me with a financial commitment for 2 years while I worked on raising my own support ” thank you” for allowing me to take that leap of faith and providing me with that cushion I needed to “jump” into non profit work! I am forever grateful!
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