Trials For Hope Delivers To Those in Need
By Jennifer Carter
Trials For Hope is a non-profit organization that delivers food to the unhoused. This refers to those who are homeless, homebound, and/or infirmed: anyone without a house to live in or lacking permanent housing. They will also deliver food to shelters and shut-ins.
Jonathan Gray, founder of Trials For Hope, gave a tour of their pantry. This is where the magic happens. It is full of food, but also includes other essentials such as toothpaste, laundry detergent, and other hygiene products. In 2019, Trials For Hope provided 120,680 meals, fed 7,069 individuals, and provided 144,816 pounds of food. It is also one of the few pantries that provides meat, such as chicken and beef. Since the pandemic, the needs of the unhoused have increased dramatically. The end of the eviction moratorium and rising inflation rates have also left many more people in need. Trials For Hope does what it can, but it simply does not have the money.
Jonathan started Trials For Hope in 2010 when he got his first donation of hotel-sized toiletries. He knew he could make use of these items, and the trial-sized products inspired the name. Those products helped bring dignity to people who no longer had to carry around large sizes of hygiene products, which can be hard to store.
Additionally, things like diapers, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and laundry detergent, aren’t covered by food stamps. This can create a financial burden on the unhoused. Another issue that creates food insecurity is mobility. A person who is health-challenged may not be able to get to the store to purchase food, and at times may not have anyone to go to the store for them. That highlights why programs like Trials For Hope are necessary. Jonathan and his team of dedicated volunteers operate with empathy and respect, something that the unhoused need but don’t always get. It is such a beautiful thing to bring hope to those who need it the most.
Inflation and the pandemic have created a huge increase in the need for what these organizations provide. While donations help, many people are also in need of hygiene products, cleaning supplies, tents, and blankets—especially as Cleveland weather is unpredictable. The next article will explore how caring volunteers bring hope to these unseen citizens. If you would like to learn more about Trials For Hope, please visit their Facebook page or their website at trials4hope.org.