Frequently Asked Questions:


Getting Help

1. Who does House of Hope help?

Any Martin County residents experiencing hunger and/or hardship.

2. How can House of Hope Help Me?

Project HOPE includes: pantry services featuring monthly Client Choice “shopping,” and daily bread and produce; free clothing and household furnishings; financial assistance for rent, utilities, prescriptions, etc. ; case management aides in household planning and budgeting; information and referrals to services & programs relevant to clients’ situations. DUE TO THE COVID PANDEMIC, Project HOPE is operating a curbside pantry model in the parking lots at each House of Hope service center. Additional services and case management assistance is being conducted via telephone and limited appointment only.

The Golden Gate Center for Enrichment offers educational opportunities, support groups, college and job application assistance and more. DUE TO THE COVID PANDEMIC, many classes and workshops are being offered virtually while in person events are following CDC guidelines and registering limited class-sizes.

3. What do I need in order to sign up?

DUE TO THE COVID PANDEMIC, our curbside pantries are only requiring a photo ID and proof of Martin County residency at this time.

To become a client, House of Hope needs to verify Martin County residence and income eligibility.

  • Anyone in the household over 18 needs to produce a photo ID. Anyone under 18 needs to produce a birth certificate or similar documentation. Proof of residency can include a lease agreement or tax information on an owned home. A utility bill dated within 30 days of the application will help complete the residency paperwork requirements.
  • For proof of income eligibility, qualifiers can include SNAP, Medicaid, and/or TANF award letters.
  • Other acceptable documentation can include 30 days of pay stubs, SSI, SSDI, unemployment or disability paperwork.

4. What happens if I don’t have all of the paperwork?

Certain situations may dictate different forms of verification. Don’t give up! Speak with House of Hope’s staff and they will be able to guide you toward the best way for you to enroll. VIsit your nearest branch or call 772-286-4673 during business hours to speak to our staff. They can recommend what to bring given your situation.

5. Why do you need my paperwork?

House of Hope is not a government entity; our donor and grant funding is designed to assist Martin County residents who meet certain income requirements in order to ensure that the mission is being performed on those who are truly in need of these services. Your documentation helps to prove that you are a Martin County resident and that your situation warrants the assistance that we are prepared to provide to you in order to help you progress towards self-sufficiency.

6. What kind of food will you give me?

Our goal is to never turn anyone away without food. DUE TO THE COVID PANDEMIC at this time we are prebagging alottments of food for clients based on the size of the household. These items include various assortments of shelf stable food items, fresh produce and prepared meals, frozen food, condiments, and bakery items. Hygene items and various household supplies may also be available. These items will be brought to the client via the curbside pantry and placed into clients vehicles. Clients experiencing homelessness may still walk up to the designated areas for day-bag service, however no one may enter the pantry.

Fully enrolled clients may participate in Client Choice shopping, a monthly or bimonthly shopping experience where clients may select predetermined quantities of items from multiple categories in order to select the best food items to fit their families nutritional needs. These clients may also visit daily to receive “daily bread and produce” service where they can select fresh produce and bread items as they are available. Households who are in the process of enrolling may be provided a pre-selected crate of food known as an “emergency service” in order to get nutrition into the household until they can be fully enrolled. Clients experiencing homelessness may visit their nearest branch every business day to receive a “day bag” including a ready-to-eat meal, snacks and a beverage in addition to daily bread and produce selections. Speak to a House of Hope program assistant or case manager to discuss the best way to enroll for the right service to meet your needs.

7. Where does the food come from?

House of Hope’s food comes from various sources including food banks and private donations as well as discounted bulk orders purchased direct from suppliers through special arrangements facilitated by partnering corporate Partners of Hope. Fresh produce is often gleaned from local growers’ fields when possible. All food offered meets the USDA guidelines pertaining to expiration dates and shelf life standards.


Giving Help

1. Who funds House of Hope?

Private donations and grants are the lifeblood of House of Hope. Throughout the year House of Hope hosts a few fundraisers such as the Hearts for Hope luncheon, Serve Some Hope Charity Doubles Tournament and Top Chef Martin County. Various Partners in Hope host their own public and private events with proceeds benefiting House of Hope.

2. How do my donated items help the mission?

60% of donated thrift store items are distributed directly to Martin County residents in need or paid forward to partnering non-profit agencies serving the same communities. Approximately 40% is sold in any of our 4 thrift stores, online Ebay store, and occasionally used as fundraising auction items during special fundraising events. Each dollar raised through the sale of these items can provide 6 lbs of food to be distributed through the pantries and 92 cents of each dollar funds services provided.

Donated food is sorted by category and then distributed throughout our four Client Choice pantries located across Martin County. Every 1.2 lbs of food roughly equal a meal for someone in our community. 

3. How much of my monetary donation goes toward programs which help people?

92 cents of each dollar goes directly to helping local people in need.

4. How can I stay informed of program information, current needs or other information relevant to my community?

House of Hope produces a monthly eNewsletter and utilizes social media channels daily to get the most up to date information to those interested in Giving Help and Getting Help. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube at @hohmartin, Instagram at @HouseofHopeMC.