Kym Klass
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May 1, 2024

When Candace Cain moved to Montgomery in 2016, she was reminded often that we are a “sent” people – people called to be good neighbors.

And she prayed, dreamed, and imagined a house in Alabama that would serve its neighborhood through walking toward a better community. She sought counsel and approval from the city of Detroit, where she had previously volunteered at a place called Hope House Detroit as its after-school reading program director.

There, she witnessed firsthand this ministry’s impact on the neighborhood by seeking to love their neighbors like Jesus.

In 2020, Cain made this a reality in our capital city, opening Hope House Montgomery in Highland Park.

What does this ministry mean to you?

For me, this is about living out my faith. I believe that Jesus calls us to work through the Spirit and bring heaven to earth in ways that help restore and enrich people’s lives. I want to help people understand that regardless of status, gender, economic position, or ethnicity, that they have value and purpose. I think it starts by being and teaching how to be a good neighbor. Hope House Montgomery isn’t looking to do things in a huge way, but to do the little things. Like help kids read, be hospitable to our neighbors even when they are not like me, and to seek to take care of the community both physically and spiritually.

What does it mean to have the support from Hope House Detroit?

I volunteered at Hope House Detroit when I lived there, and I have patterned Hope House Montgomery after them. We are partners with a similar mission. I support HHD and they support HHM. They started with a reading program, and that was our first outreach and now it is going strong.

“With her sincere heart for the greatest good of children, her collegiate connections and zeal for life, and her steady devotion to Jesus, Candace Cain is a grand slam! Plus she is just plain fun! We are delighted by her passion to bring to the children and youth of her neighborhood and are pleased to share in relationship with Hope House Montgomery.” – Gary and Becky Gentry, Executive Director and Founders, Hope House Detroit (via

Are there parallels between the two locations – Detroit and Montgomery – or is each unique?

We are only three years old, and HHD is at the 15-year mark. They have a much larger paid staff and several locations, and have broadened their footprint to include job training and daily programming for youth. Hope House Montgomery has no paid staff at this point, although we are getting ready to start a campaign to bring on a full-time staff member. We both have internship programs where we mentor and teach Christian hospitality and how to be a good neighbor.

We have two interns who are paid a stipend and live at Hope House Montgomery for free. They complete 6-8 hours a week working in the neighborhood, with the reading program, or other volunteer opportunities. I volunteer up to ten hours a week, and also live at Hope House Montgomery. We work together weekly to pray, plan, and recruit volunteers. Twice a week, we use 10 to 20 volunteers for our reading program. We have a monthly trash pick-up and invite youth groups and neighbors to help us pick up trash. Weekly, we have a dinner and invite neighbors. The interns take turns cooking and showing hospitality around the table.

We passed out 150 valentines with cards and candy to our neighbors on February 14, and we try to do something for families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our current interns are from Faulkner University and Alabama State University. Internships last an academic year up to two years. Generally, they are college-aged students or grad students.

(An additional partner is Hunter Hills Church in Prattville – whose emphasis is not their building or programs, but the community of believers in which God is forming.)

Why should the community invest in this ministry?

Helping us train young people to choose to be intentional in their neighborhoods helps us all. A college education has benefits, but extending that to help young people practice being an active, positive and restorative member of a community – that is in need of love and is distressed – is of great benefit to us all. Many of the people look to move out of these neighborhoods, but I hope to teach us to stay and create a sense of connection and restoration.

How can the community pray for Hope House Montgomery?

We are looking for new interns as our current two are graduating and moving on to other work. Prayers for us to recognize how God is moving and working in our community and to move into that work. For our reading kids, that they continue to value themselves and others. Prayers for increase with our monthly donors so that we can bring on a full-time staff member.

In May, we have a church group coming from Nashville to help us with our “School’s Out Party.” We will feed the neighborhood, have a petting zoo, facilitate a craft, a book giveaway, and yard games. They will engage with our neighbors, and experience how God is moving in our little community.

What are your greatest needs?

Right now, funding for a full-time person. We are not looking to become huge. We just want to serve the families in Highland Park and have someone full-time who can be in the neighborhood consistently, updating our social media, keep us organized and planning educational and community activities that will serve our neighbors as well as collaborate with area churches and other nonprofits seeking similar relationships. For the future, we hope to plant another Hope House in another distressed part of the city.

Programs offered:

Read Around the Block
HHM hosts a reading enhancement program where elementary kids in kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to improve their reading skills in a fun and safe environment.

ESL Classes
English as a Second Language classes will be facilitated at 430 Polk Street beginning this fall.

Street Clean-Up
Each month Hope House will sponsor a street clean-up in the Highland Park neighborhood. Please check in with us to find out the dates. This is open to anyone willing to help.

How to volunteer, donate, and get in touch:
Email: candace@hopehouse
Phone: 830-688-1074

Kym Klass is a contributing writer and Communications Director of the Media Ministry at Frazer Church in Montgomery.

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Kym Klass
Kym Klass has lived in the River Region since 2007. She is the Director of Communications at Frazer Church. She is the author of "One More Day: a powerful true story of suicide, loss and a woman's newfound faith." She serves on the board of directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (Alabama), the Samaritan Counseling Center, and the Alabama Coalition Against Rape.

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