Community of Hope


Life is full of unexpected events; events that knock us down, throw us off track and leave us feeling lost and overwhelmed.  At SECOR, we see this every day in our guests.  While our free food market helps feed their bodies, to get their lives back on track, they often need guidance and direction, too.  

Community of Hope (COH) was created as a support system, offering a form of life coaching to guide our guests back to self-sufficiency.  We take a holistic view of people experiencing suburban poverty, and walk alongside them as they strive to become whole again.  We address multiple facets of life and how poverty affects each of them.  This new program an opportunity for our guests to work with a guide who coaches, empowers and uplifts the guest on their journey to self-sufficiency.   



Our volunteer army of "guides" are empathetic and intuitive, and deeply care about others.  They act as a friend, advocate and "case manager," offering direction to our guests, but always allowing the guest to make their own choices.  They spend time getting to know their guest, helping them self-assess and set goals.  After their initial meeting, guides follow up with their guests through subsequent meetings and phone calls to provide support, accountability, and goal 'troubleshooting.'  Guides may also help guests find additional resources, as needed. 



  • Guide commitment averages 3-6 hours per week. 

  • 2-4 hours of in-person meetings 

  • 1-2 hours of follow-up phone calls/emails. 

  • Commitment can vary based upon guides' availability and caseload. 



  • Guides will receive thorough training on available resources, poverty sensitivity, motivational interviewing and the EmpowOR database. 



An ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about people and compassionate in serving them.  In essence, we’re looking for "people-people."  Someone who can manage the balance between empathy, encouragement and accountability. 


If you are interested in becoming a guide, please contact us.

If you are in need of our services, please stop by during our market hours. You can learn more on our Guest page.

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Community of Hope Program Design 

  1. Guide and guest meet one-on-one 

    1. Guide employs motivational interviewing, strengths based approach, and empowerment 

    2. Guest self-assesses using the COH matrix 

    3. Goal and plan of action is set by the guest using “AS IS→ CAN BE→ WILL BE” 

      1. Goals include one financial goal and one personal goal 

    4. Guest identifies skills and resources they have at their disposal 

    5. Guide identifies outside resources and supports available to guest 

  2. Follow-up and accountability with between guest and guide 

  3. Regular guide meetings to encourage guest, evaluate progress, and set new goals