Our Leadership Team
During the winter vortex of 2017, Michael Robinson and dEstiny Family Church partnered with Bridge of Hope Ministries to address the void that the City of St. Louis was experiencing due to the New Life Evangelistic Center being closed. That winter they housed 60-75 people nightly. The following year, dEstiny operated a pop-up shelter in south St. Louis city. Nearly 60 individuals were housed nightly. During this time Michael & Ms. Jennifer Turner began discussing plans for the future of shelter work.
After seeing an immediate need for more available bed space and quality services for the unhoused, City Hope St. Louis was founded by Bishop Dr. Michael Robinson and Jennifer Turner in September 2019. City Hope St. Louis provides immediate shelter and resources for individuals in the Saint Louis Metropolitan Region experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. Our mission is to cure homelessness while loving people and impacting the world.
City Hope operates several winter warming centers across the St. Louis area during the months of November through March each year. In addition, City Hope St. Louis has developed a transitional housing and workforce development programs which have successfully assisted several in finding sustainable employment and permanent housing. We believe that the development of true relationships with the individuals we serve and a deep-rooted desire to address all aspects of their immediate and long-term needs with love & dignity are the keys to our success.
We have the privilege of having some amazing team members on board at City Hope STL. We have intentionally staffed persons of various backgrounds. A large portion of our staff is those that are present residents within our shelter. This has provided us with the ability to serve with a balanced approach. Our unhoused staff members have proven to be loyal and very dependable. We also have team members that are extremely passionate about the work that they get to do with our unhoused community members. We are committed to building a team of “Make It Happen” individuals that recognize the value of hospitality.
We have developed a strong sense of family at City Hope St. Louis. We are the only family that some who we serve have. Our mantra is, “Homelessness is not a crime.” As a result, we ensure that we work to provide our guests a comfortable, peaceful environment, great meals, and fun activities, and most importantly, City Hope staff treats everyone with respect and provides exceptional service. We have often heard, “This is the friendliest shelter I’ve ever been too!”
The future of City Hope St. Louis is exciting! With the gifting of Karen’s House, we are able to expand our scope of service. Our team can now provide longer-term housing, develop additional programs, and invest more time per person while assisting each of our guests through their journey to independence. We are currently in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that would include the housing of families on both short and long-term cycles. Our goal is to continue the amazing work that Karen House has offered the community since 1977.
One of our first undertakings will be to organize multiple groups that will come and serve alongside us as we make some repairs and updates to the facility. We want to ensure that the building can endure another 50 years of successful service to our community. We will be looking for those that will partner with us to do some awesome projects on the campus.
Our organization depends heavily on donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations in the form of cash contributions, food, and/or prepared meals, clothing, blankets, goods, services, and volunteers. We could not do what we have done over the last 3 years if it was not for the generosity of fellow community members that understand the challenging dynamics of operating shelters. Also, City Hope St. Louis has contracted with the City of St. Louis to provide shelter care during the winter season. This collaboration has helped to ensure that we save lives during the winter season.
We look forward to meeting some of the long-standing supporters of Karen House. We plan to host several dinner meetings at the building so that we can introduce our team to you. We certainly hope that you will consider remaining a part of the great work that we plan to continue. During this transitional period, we know that we are going to need the help of many.
Chief Financial and Human Resource Officer (CFHRO)/Co-Founder
Program Manager/Facilities Manager/Co-Founder
Lead Case Manager
Food Service Manager