Friendship House Roanoke and Restoring Hope Roanoke are joining forces

Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 6:39 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Friendship House Roanoke and Restoring Hope Roanoke have become one organization, hoping to extend their reach and impact.

It’s a unique situation for two local charity organizations here at home.

“You don’t often see people coming together,” said Friendship House Executive Director Aaron Dowdy.

Friendship House Roanoke and Restoring Hope Roanoke announced Wednesday they’re integrating and becoming one.

“And we really feel like we’re better together as two organizations becoming one and so we’re thrilled about the opportunity,” added Dowdy.

Dowdy said it just made sense. The two community centers have collaborated for the past three years, complementing one another.

“The mission with Friendship House has always been partnering with local churches to reach the community, providing emergency services, refugee housing, and English classes,” explained Dowdy. “Restoring Hope has always been about mobilizing and equipping local churches, while also empowering local residents here.”

Now, the two will continue their missions as one organization.

“They have said the food pantry and the after-school program for the kids,” said Restoring Hope Roanoke Program Coordinator Nancy Friesen. “We’re bringing in classes like the faith in finances class. Like a job preparedness class, and other things too. We also have seminars for churches to let them know how to better help without doing more harm than good.”

Restoring Hope has had one employee since last summer. But the new incorporation will allow her to have more support.

“On my end, just having that team effort while working together for something that we all feel passionately about, and I feel like it will also impact the community to have a greater impact on the community,” explained Friesen.

The organizations want residents to know they won’t take any current services away. They will only expand them.