Local family takes over Good News Rescue Mission's 'House of Hope'

Apr 14, 2014 7:19 PM

Natalie Verhoog was shocked when she saw the state of disarray of the playroom in the Good News Rescue Mission's House of Hope.

"There was old couches and broken chairs and broken toys and old strollers, and the room was really a mess," said Natalie, a sophomore at Redding Christian High School.

Enter 14 members of the Rotary Interact Club, new couches and shelving, and five gallons of brightly colored paint.

"My goal is that when the moms and their kids walk into this room, they're inspired to be creative and to play and to do artwork," Natalie said.

The Verhoogs are no strangers to the House of Hope.

It all started with Natalie's brother Luke, who landscaped the grounds around the home for his Eagle Scout project two years ago.

"I redid the whole outdoor living area over here. I redid the fencing, put in an outdoor patio, and did a lot of landscaping for them," Luke said.

Both Natalie and Luke were inspired by their mom, who mentors women living in the house.

"In Redding, we see so many homeless on the streets, but it's hard to understand their story or why they're there or what's going on," she said.

For the Mission, the Verhoogs are a prime example of what one small group of volunteers can achieve.

"It's that ripple effect and we love to see that. A lot of impact has occurred as a result of that family directly," said Sharre Whitson, Good News Rescue Mission's Director of Community Relations and Development.

Since Luke's renovations, there additional Eagle Scout projects have benefited the House of Hope.

This spring break, his friend Justin Schultz is leading a team to build garden boxes.


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