Acres of Hope


Acres of Hope provides a safe family environment and a healthy living program for women with children that sets the foundation of change and breaks the cycle of homelessness by improving the physical, emotional, social, economic and spiritual quality of life for homeless women and their children.

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Address: P.O. Box 238
Auburn, CA 95604
County or Parish: Placer County
Primary NTEE: Human Services 
Sub NTEE: Homeless Services/Centers 
Executive Director: Lisa Risdal
Contact Email: lisa@acresofhopeonline.org
Primary Phone: 530-878-8030 x480
Fax: 530-878-8009
Website: http://www.acresofhopeonline.org
Acres of Hope is a long-term, faith-based residential renewal center for homeless women with children. It was formed in 2005 in response to statistics within Placer County regarding the growing number of homeless women with children. With start-up funding from generous donors, Acres leased and renovated an old motel in Applegate, CA and welcomed our first families in May, 2006. In May, 2012 we purchased 3.7 acres in Auburn, CA and relocated, replacing the old motel with new family cottages.

Our program is structured as:
Level 1: Orientation Introduces the women to our program and gives them an opportunity to understand program expectations. Individual Family Plans (IFPs) are prepared, which guide their learning goals.
Level 2: Curriculum Teaches the women new life skills such as how to respond vs. react, regulating thoughts and emotions, and conflict resolution. The women attend weekly AA meetings, gain a sponsor, and begin case management to work toward achieving their IFP goals.
Level 3: Preparation The women prepare to sustain their lives by going back to school and/or gaining employment. A relapse prevention program is included. The women begin developing healthy outside relationships so they have a network of support when they leave Acres.
Level 4: Continuation In the last months of living at Acres the women spend more time in the community at work and at school to practice their life skills with the safety net of returning home to Acres each day. After graduation, women can receive six months of after-care case management.

Acres has served more than 100 women and over 250 children. One of our goals is to reunify mothers and children that have been separated due to factors such as substance abuse. We have an 85% success rate in facilitating the return of children from foster care to their mothers at Acres.
Acres of Hope has varied needs and your support is essential to our program.

Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - Financial support (monthly donors)
  2. Funding: Program - Programs
  3. Volunteers - ReNew Stores volunteers (Roseville, CA)
  4. Board Members - Ambassadors, task force and committee volunteers
  5. Volunteers - Skilled & unskilled laborers
Acres of Hope is a special place where lives are changed. Generally, our moms come from generational cycles of abuse, abandonment, addiction, neglect. Often, they were born to families that were at their best deeply dysfunctional and at their worst downright dangerous. For example, one of our moms was given alcohol as a baby by her own mother who did not want to hear her cry when she was teething, and so she became a child alcoholic. One of our moms was given drugs at an early age because her family thought it was funny to watch her get high, until she was raped at age eight at a family party. Given these traumatic experiences, it's no wonder these women fell into lifestyles of addiction as a way of coping with the pain of being uncared for and found themselves repeating destructive patterns.

The moms who come to Acres are the ones who say, "No more; it stops here'. They come to Acres to break the cycle and provide a healthy life for their children. Sometimes the moms have custody of their children, sometimes their children are with a family member, or in sometimes they're in foster care. One of our primary goals at Acres is to work with the court and social services to reunify mothers and children. We have a good relationship with these entities, resulting in an 85% success rate in reunifying mothers and children. For example, one of our moms who came to Acres was on the verge of losing parental rights to her young son and the court was preparing to adopt him out. Once at Acres, the judge chose to give her more time. A year later, at Christmas, she received full custody and was commended by the Child Protective Services attorney for accomplishing the life change that was needed to regain her son! As a faith-based organization, one component of our program is teaching forgiveness. For our families, becoming a healthy person means letting go of past wounds; to no longer live under the burden of shame and blame, but to go forward with grace toward themselves and others. Because we teach the biblical principles of love, grace and forgiveness, we are not eligible to receive most public funding. We rely on the income from our thrift stores and our generous donors.

Part of the success of Acres is the large number of business, service, community and church organizations that provide not just funding, but hands-on assistance by driving mothers to appointments, leading family activities at Acres, doing maintenance and donating supplies. Acres of Hope is only able to make a difference in the lives of our residents because of our faithful supporters.