Project WeHOPE Expanding Services to House the Homeless


Pastor Paul Bains puts out the Warming Shelter sign at Project WeHOPE in East Palo Alto.

Housing more homeless and at-risk adults in East Palo Alto through its successful Supportive Housing Program is the main goal of Project WeHOPE in 2015, the organization recently announced.

“San Mateo is very fortunate to have a partnership with Project WeHOPE. They do a remarkable job at providing a welcoming place – a warm and safe place to sleep, a nutritious meal, and the company of others who are also going through a rough patch in theirs lives,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum.

“Project WeHOPE lives up to its name. It gives the weary what they need to regroup and in doing so, helps them rekindle the hope they need for a better tomorrow. Thank you, Project WeHOPE,” said Slocum.

Launched in February 2014, the Supportive Housing Program started with a vision to give homeless clients the life tools to help them help themselves. It was well received by clients and the various county agencies involved, and as a result of its success, nearly 100 clients have been helped and over 20 have moved into permanent or supportive housing.

Project WeHOPE runs the Supportive Housing Program as a series of on-site classes and sessions with homeless clients for 120 days. Clients take courses in financial literacy, communications, life skills, and many others, as well as meet with a dedicated case manager where together they set weekly goals to improve their situation.

In 2015, Project WeHOPE plans to expand the program in two important ways: the number of clients brought into the program and the number of clients successfully transitioned into supportive housing. Currently 30 clients are in the program at any given time.

“With our educational classes, we offer much more than a warm meal and a safe place to sleep. Our goal is to end homelessness in East Palo Alto for starters, and impact this region in a significant way” said Pastor Paul Bains, Founder of Project WeHOPE.

“With the Supportive Housing Program, we have an opportunity to transform the lives of our clients. When we offer our clients the tools to help themselves, then we’re offering them a chance at a different future and become positive contributors to society.”

As part of the expanded offerings, a Nutrition and Cooking class was added, which will be taught by Karen Gitter, a representative of Whole Foods and in association with the Second Harvest Food Bank and Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. Also added this year is a men’s accountability and support group called Stepping Up, guided by Bains, helping male clients work through issues specific to men.

Graduates of these courses will be honored on May 4, 2015 at a special banquet dinner. The community is welcome to attend. Visit Project WeHOPE’s website at for more information.