Hope Acts was founded in 2012 by the HopeGateWay Faith Community as a separate 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.
2013 - Philanthropists Richard and Theresa Berman purchased 14 Sherman Street to gift its use to Hope Acts for Asylum Seeker housing. Hope House is the only transitional housing program exclusively for asylum seekers. The first residents moved into Hope House during Fall 2013. Over half of the initial residents were from Burundi, with others originating from Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Current residents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Rwanda, and Cote D'Ivoire.
2016 - Hope House English Language Program (HHELP) was formed by a group of volunteer teachers. HHELP staff and volunteers worked with students from more than 30 countries.
2018 - We launched the Asylum Seeker Assistance Program (ASAP), an individualized service for any asylum seeker seeking help navigating resources in the community.
2019 - ASAP expanded to include a weekly work permit clinic. We assisted over 600 asylum seekers in completing their Federal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
-Hope Acts joined the Quality Housing Coalition/Project Home, a partnership that provides housing to low-income individuals and families with case management, creating successful tenancies for clients and area landlords.
2020 - Responding to the COVID pandemic. Hope Acts moved our English classes online (Zoom and Whatsapp) and we began offering services in the backyard of Hope House to keep staff, clients and volunteers safe before the availability of vaccines.
2022 - We launched the Asylum Application Resource Center (AARC) at the Portland Public Library. AARC provides technology resources and interpreters to assist asylum seekers who need to file asylum applications without the assistance of an attorney.
-The Berman family donated Hope House to Hope Acts. The gift ensures that our building will be a home and beacon of hope for new asylum seekers.
2023 - Hope Acts partners with the Maine Department of Labor/Maine Career Center. We moved our work permit clinic to the Portland Public Library, co-locating with Career Center staff so clients can access Career Center services.
Our sincere thanks to our founders at HopeGateWay, the Berman Family and our many supporters and volunteers.