Soroptimist House of Hope received a $10,000 surprise grant from the Coachella Valley Spotlight. The organization helps transform the lives of women who struggle with substance abuse.
One of those women was Lupe Stoneburner, the organization’s director.
“I had nothing. I had absolutely nothing. I was 33 years old and had absolutely nothing to show for my life," she said. "I got picked up by the police for the very last time. I was just in the parks helpless, hopeless, and running in the streets."
She had been picked up by police multiple times, but it was in her last time in jail where she found a pamphlet for House of Hope.
“I picked it because it said hope. Because I needed a whole lot of hope then," said Stoneburner. “When I got [to House of Hope], they opened the door and they welcomed me home. And for me, I just never forget that day because no one ever welcomed me home.”
After being sober for three years, the organization asked her to join the team. She's been working with them for over years. Today, Stoneburner is 23 years sober.
“My son was murdered in 2014. My husband passed away two years ago, and House of Hope still saves my life," said Stoneburner. “I get the gift of coming to work and showing the women how it's done. Your son could die, your husband can die of cancer, you just don't pick up drugs no matter what. That's what productive members of society do.”
House of Hope has been helping women in the valley for 40 years. Providing a home, support, and education.
“The aspect of walking into the House of Hope has always been being able to say, you're welcome and you're loved," said the president of the group, Trish Klimkiewicz.
Klimkiewicz said the grant money will pay for recreational actives, new curriculum, gas for transportation to doctor appointments, and electric bills for the house.
"Any of our graduates can go out and go their own way and go back into business go back into families," said Klimkiewicz.
It’s a labor of love that keeps on giving.
“That's why I say we're in the business of saving lives, because I know House of Hope helped save my life," said Stoneburner.
House of hope has its annual free luncheon, A Day of Hope, coming up on September 18 at 11 a.m. The organization will be celebrating its 40 years of service to women in the valley. There will also be an interactive silent auction.
The organization is always looking for donations. If you're interested in helping out their cause, click here.