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Rock Valley Flood

Though recent flooding took a toll on Hope Haven, the organization’s executive director remains optimistic

Although recent flooding damaged Hope Haven’s main office building in Rock Valley, offices in Sheldon, Spencer, and Rock Rapids, eight community living facilities with a total of 50 residents, and the Hope Haven International Ministries (HHIM) workshop — in which volunteers refurbish wheelchairs — the organization’s Chief Executive Officer, Matt Buley, testified to God’s provision.

“Thankfully, the majority of the people we support were evacuated on Friday, so we did not have to get them out when the sirens went off in the middle of the night,” he said.

Many people who were living in Hope Haven’s community living homes or apartment buildings and were displaced due to the flood have found living arrangements in homes within the organization. Buley credits the organization’s community living staff with making this a quick and smooth transition.

“Our community living staff did an amazing job getting the people we support into alternative placement,” he said.

Other organizations have offered to provide housing for people as well. The leadership of Whispers of Love, Hope, and Joy, a Sioux Center organization that provides housing for victims of domestic violence, offered to have people live temporarily in the organization’s living facility.

“[They] were waiting for a security system to be installed in the building,” said Buley. “When they heard about what was happening, they offered it to us. We are surrounded by blessings and things coming together by the goodness of God.”

As far as Hope Haven’s main building is concerned, Buley said the north side was damaged while the south side remained dry.

The contents of the HHIM workshop were severely damaged.

“There will be a tremendous amount of loss amongst those wheelchairs.”

There were 975 adult refurnished wheelchairs and 1,106 kid chairs in the HHIM workshop ready to be shipped when the floodwater rushed into the building. They do not yet have a count on how many of them were damaged and can’t be used or restored.

Buley is incredibly grateful for the volunteers who’ve helped with Hope Haven’s cleanup.

“Thank You.. Thank You.. Thank You.. We are extremely grateful to all the volunteers who assisted with cleaning out Hope Haven this week,” a post on Hope Haven’s Facebook page read on June 26. “What a blessing to see other communities come together to support each other.”

     – Published by Kelly Vander Pol | Rock Valley Bee

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