At Hands Up Ministries, our mission is to change lives by providing affordable, stable housing opportunities to Richmond's under-served, with the vision of strengthening families and communities one house at a time.
Hands Up Ministries (HUM) is an IRS approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2009 to extend a "Hand-Up" to those in need in Richmond, Virginia. HUM (2007-2009)was first involved with meeting the basic, immediate needs of the area’s homeless and working poor, such as food and clothing. Over a period of time, relationships were built with members of the community and it was through these relationships that we discovered that there was a deeper need for these people. They needed safe, stable, affordable housing. In 2011, HUM was able to purchase its first home. HUM homes have provided safe, affordable housing, as well as create jobs during renovation and provide a venue for community outreach.
It is Hands Up Ministries (HUM) heartfelt belief that “All are worthy.” This was the very basis for HUM’s formation. It is the reason for every move we make, for every house we renovate, for each and every volunteer that we recruit, for every job we help find. From the moment HUM meets any person, we emphasize and remind them that they are worthy. We embrace individuality and “differences,” but clearly, different is different. It does not translate into inferiority. These beliefs are the glue that holds our organization together, and, with each step we progress with our friends, we reinforce this element of “belonging” into the thoughts and souls of everyone we meet. Before any volunteer becomes a part of the journey, they are reminded that people are worthy – all people. All humans crave love, and we will show our love simply by taking time to listen intently, by remembering what is important, and by making promises only if we can see them to fulfillment. An empty promise to a person that is devoid of hope is just another brick in their wall of disappointment and separation from community. It represents another step backwards from belief – another vital tenet of the HUM motto. We will not refer our friends to another organization if we can provide the help ourselves.
Unless you feel important to someone, you are nothing to anyone. Most of our residents and friends have burned many bridges and lost all family support along the way. They have very few, if any, safety nets to fall back on. HUM provides the encouragement, the emotional support, and the physical support that all of our residents need and want. We live by these core values. There is always time to sit and listen, and we are to never be rushed. Nothing is more important than letting our friends know that their words are valued. We remind everyone that their behavior/crimes/mistakes do not define who they are. They are mistakes that can be let go, and they do not need to hinder you as you seek to make corrections along your new path.
Cassie Matthew is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hands Up Ministries (HUM), a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2008 to address individual barriers of poverty. Cassie earned her B.S. from Old Dominion University in Human Services and went on to Eastern Virginia Medical School where she graduated at the top of her class as a Surgeon’s Assistant. Following graduate school, Cassie went on to serve global issues of poverty in countries like Haiti and Costa Rica. After 10 years of focusing on international poverty issues, she decided to spend her money and efforts serving a nearby community and founded HUM to make an impact on the community that was in her backyard.
These issues of poverty are her current areas of focus: affordable housing, mentor program for sustainable transition from homelessness to permanent housing, joblessness, health care issues, money management, educational tutoring and lack of basic needs such as food and clothing.
As a supportive member of North Richmond neighbors, she has longstanding rapport with those neighbors who know they can trust and count on her to be a permanent listener to the issues and barriers of those with substandard lifestyles.
John Matthew is a Founder and Vice President of Hands Up Ministries. John earned his B.S. from the University of Michigan in Civil Engineering in 1985. Upon graduation, John was commissioned as an officer in the U.S Navy and served in the submarine force for 8 years on active duty. After leaving the Navy, John has worked in the manufacturing sector and is currently a Quality Manager at Altria in Richmond, Virginia.
John is an active member of New Hanover Presbyterian Church where he currently serves on the Missions Team. John has been on international mission trips to Haiti and Costa Rica and domestically to Mississippi. In 2008, John supported Cassie Matthew’s efforts and helped to establish Hands Up Ministries to focus on poverty issues in the City of Richmond.
John’s main area of focus has been preparing houses for permanent residence by clients who have been served by Hands Up Ministries.
People who are referred to Hands Up Ministries are in situations where homelessness is eminent. We provide an affordable and supportive living environment to our residents. Several of our residents have been classified as the “unemployable”(felons, no HS diploma, bad credit, alcoholism, barriers of employment). Along with the housing opportunity, we seek and find jobs for these people deemed undesirable in the workplace, thus reducing the probability of returning to homelessness. Some of our residents referred to us from the Department of Corrections need second chance housing, moving from the provided short-term residence to a more permanent situation, thus circumventing homelessness. Once residence is established in a Hands Up Ministries home, we continue to provide assistance through a variety of physical and emotional support aimed at financial independence and social skills, but mostly the bigger picture of fostering attributes of a self-reliant, contributing member of society who finally perceives themselves as worthy and valuable.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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