Miss Claudia Founder
My husband Mark and I have two daughters, both married with families of their own, with three adorable grandchildren.. I spent 22 years as a special education teacher. Upon leaving Marshall Public Schools, I started my “dream job” at a university, teaching teachers and supervising student teachers. After giving me the desire of my heart, the Lord called me to answer His. Having experienced self-destructive behaviors in my own family God called me to use what I learned about healing and reconciliation to help other families dealing with the same experiences. That calling led me and my friends Karen and Carla to found House of Hope Minnesota, which became Hope Harbor in fall of 2015.
Here Since: the beginning
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: "Use what I have given you to help others." (she's the boss, she gets 8 words!)
My Job: Since September 2003 I dedicate my time to this ministry of healing, reconciliation, and hope. Some days I wonder if a difference is being made, then someone pops into my office and says, “I love you,”"Thanks for all you do,” or “Can we talk?” and I realize God is working!!
Why I Am A Believer, in Three Sentences: I am a believer because I have witnessed firsthand the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I have seen Him move in powerful ways in my life and the life of others. Through study, teaching, and meditation, I know the Word of God is infallible and the absolute truth.
My Favorite Scripture: My favorite scripture is Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Miss Cindy Executive Director
I have degrees in Business Administration (Acct/Mgmt) and in Business Education. I served as the teacher at Hope Harbor from 2009-2012, was the financial secretary from 2010-2012, served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer from 2012-2015 and took over as Executive Director in January 2016. I am so excited to be back at Hope Harbor on a day to day basis and to have more direct contact with the girls and staff. I have been married to my husband, Wade, since 1990 and we have 2 adult children who are both teachers--high school math and elementary education. Wade is the superintendent at Wabasso Public Schools so the teaching bug definitely runs very deep in our family.
Here Since: 2009
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: God’s will for my life. (It may sound cliche but it’s so true!)
My Job: My job is to love on the girls that we serve. I also oversee the day to day operations and provide donor management and care. My primary responsibility is to make sure that there is enough money coming in to be able to pay the bills.
Why I Am A Believer, in Three Sentences: I’m a believer because over and over again in my life I’ve seen the hand of God at work in my life and in the lives of others. Through the good times and the bad times, I’ve learned that God will never leave me or forsake me. As I reflect, I know that God has always provided for my each and every need.
My Favorite Scripture: It’s hard to choose just one as there are so many and it really depends on what is going on in my life at the time. One scripture that I’ve continued to go back to is from Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Miss Kim Counselor
I’m married to Jerry (since 1982) and we have four beautiful daughters, a handsome son-in-law and two awesome grandsons, all whom we love to visit and play with. My husband and I live on a farm and enjoy many outdoor activities, including horses, gardening, wood projects and bonfires. I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 12 years of counseling experience and memberships in both the American Association of Christian Counselors and the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. I am certified as a Facilitator of Parenting with Love & Logic ®, a facilitator for SYMBIS® which is a premarital assessment tool; and I am the founder/director of L.O.L! Camp which is a week-long craft-based camp for girls where I help them understand what to do when bullying happens, as well as work on friendship and self-awareness skills.
Here Since: September 2005 (intern), May 2006 became the Counselor
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at Hope Harbor: God lead me here, amen!
My Job: In 2004 I read an article in the local paper about three women who were starting a residential home for teen girls. Immediately my heart jumped, and I immediately called one of the Founders and said, “Put me in, I’ll do anything!” They weren't yet ready to receive residents, but I kept in contact. In the fall of 2005, the doors of Hope Harbor (formerly House of Hope MN) were opened and I, as the intern, counseled our first parents and began teaching parenting classes. In February 2006, the first counselor was led elsewhere, and I immediately said, “I want your job!” It was truly the cry of my heart to work with families and for the Lord in ministry! I said, “here I am Lord, send me!” The Lord is faithful to shine His light on each step I’m on, and like sheep, I follow. I’m so thankful to work in ministerial counseling, to be a part of God’s plan to reconcile and restore families in Jesus’ Name, using the Word of God every single time I meet with people. Every day, I see the hand of God, I hear His voice, and I see people who are willing to get healed. He truly is “the Way, the Truth and the Life,” and He truly does set captives free. What do I bring to the ministry: Me, all that I am, as I serve the Lord.
Why I Am A Believer, in Three Sentences: I began my faith-journey during pre-marital counseling over 32 years ago, and decided to be baptized the night before I got married. Through the years I’ve had several Christian mentors who have allowed me to exhaust them with both silly and profound questions, with excitement of being set free from my past, and humility as I recognized again my need for a Savior every day. Today, Jesus is my best Friend, the One I turn to in all life circumstances, the One who saved me and then healed me, the One who refreshes me with His love, the One I completely trust.
My Favorite Scripture: I love all Scripture, and sometimes it depends on the day or the moment. But Luke 4:18 says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” This is one of my favorite Scripture, not because I deserve anything as I know full well from where I come from, but because the Lord has faith in me and chooses to use me as a vessel. Thy Kingdom Come, Lord! Thy Will be done.
Miss Melissa Program Director
I was born and raised in small town Minnesota, where cows outnumbered people, and everyone knew everyone. My grandmother instilled in me a love for Jesus in the midst of the chaos around me. I didn’t understand the importance of that love until much later in life, but I always knew I felt peace through Him, and He reminds me of that every day. I attended Southwest Minnesota State University and graduated with a BA in Justice Administration and Sociology with an emphasis on Criminal Justice in 2006. After completing an internship at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, I left college with a degree to do what I always thought I wanted to do, the experience to show me I didn’t know what I wanted at all, and a lot of baggage I needed help checking. Wise counsel recommended I pray Proverbs 3:5-6 over my life - and direct my path He did. I found love and healing I didn’t know I needed, in a place I never expected to find it: my job. House of Hope is my second home, and my coworkers are truly my sisters in Christ. My husband, Seth, and I were married in 2011 and welcomed our first child in 2016. I know that through everything, God is so good, and I am blessed beyond measure.
Here Since: April 2007
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: The grace of God alone.
My Job: I interviewed for a job that didn’t exist at the time, after which a job opened up that I didn’t want. I declined, but the Lord gave me the job as House Staff. I was eventually moved into another position that didn’t exist, Lead Staff. In 2014, I again moved into another position that didn’t exist, Program Director, where my first task was to write what that position entails. This is the capacity in which I currently serve, and as far as I can tell, I put out little fires and occasionally start some of my own. I get to laugh a lot, and pray a lot, and sometimes I answer the phone, too.
Why I Am A Believer, In Three Sentences: I am a believer because I have no other choice. I have lived the other way, and its death. I was blind, and now I see, and I see a lot of purple, the color of royalty, because I am a daughter of The Most High King.
My Favorite Scripture: Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
Miss Sarah House Staff
A bit about me… Well first of all, I am short and frequently mistaken for one of the HH girls, my natural hair color is light brown but I can’t remember the last time it was this. My roommate and I live with my kitten Taliah, the boss of the house. I love all things to do with foreign cultures, dancing and Zumba, my precious church family, friends, and my real family, and the laughter and adventures that come with working at Hope Harbor.
Here Since: 2013
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: Hmmm... Jeremiah 29:11, even though I’m confused :)
My Job: I’ve had different roles at House of Hope, first as a volunteer, then as overnight staff, now I work full time as day staff – which I love because the girls are so much more fun awake! When people ask what I do, I think the best answer is: I’m a temporary mama. I get to love the girls every way I know how, from hugs, prayer, and laughter to discipline and teaching. I get yelled at, laughed at, hugged, and most importantly trusted. I am imperfect, but I get to share the love that God has shown me.
Why I Am A Believer, In Three Sentences: I love Jesus because He loved me first, just as I am, died for me, forgave me, and pursued me … and one day I finally understood that. He has healed my heart and changed me from a confused little girl who would do anything to please anyone, to a confident young woman who finds joy in just being who God made me to be. And now He lets me share this love and acceptance with anyone I can, and see Him do the same for others!
My Favorite Scripture: Just ONE? The story God has given me is in Psalm 40:1-10 but my favorite verse right now is Galatians 6:9 “Do not grow weary in doing good, for a the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up.”
Miss Tracy House Staff
I am married to my high school sweethearts, now a police officer, for 30 years. We have three adult sons, one who will be married in the fall, and Cash the poodle. I am a certified Interpreter for the Deaf. I work at the Marshall Middle School as a Media Assistant.
Here Since: May of 2008
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: God led, and I followed.
My Job: As House Staff, I supervise, assist, direct, listen, teach and LOVE on the girls. I guess what I bring….probably my “mothering” skills - good and bad.
Why I Am A Believer, In Three Sentences: I am a believer because I am a sinner and without God I am nothing. I believe Jesus came and took on sinner and without God I am nothing. I believe Jesus came and took on my sins for me and He gives me grace and mercy every day.
My Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”
Miss Laura House Staff
I was born and raised in Green Bay and am thereby required to be a Packers fan, but I don't actually watch football. My brother is one of my best friends. I love writing letters by hand. I used to be a junior high/high school Language Arts teacher, and I still get asked frequently to edit writing or provide the correct spelling of a word. I love road trips.
Here Since: December 2013
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: God rewrote my life plans.
My Job: I am House Staff, which means I strive to model a Christ like lifestyle and love, coach the girls through everyday life situations, and pray without ceasing.
Why I Am A Believer, In Three Sentences: God has incomprehensible love and forgiveness. I accepted the gift of His Son. I want to live my life for Him, not to pay Him back (because that's impossible), but out of thankfulness.
My Favorite Scripture: Psalm 18:28 "You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light."
Miss Lael House Staff
I was born in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and raised for the majority of my childhood just outside of Winona, MN (with a few years living in northern New Jersey). Born the eldest of seven daughters, I was homeschooled from an early age until I left home for college. I attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, worked as a nanny for four years, and graduated with a degree in Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation in spring of 2016. Just before I completed my college education I had the opportunity to live in the Philippines for six months working with an anti-sex trafficking organization in the slums of Metro Manila. This experience changed my life and really solidified my desire to serve young women and girls who are hurting.
Here Since: September 2016
Five Words that Describe How I Ended Up at HH: I’ve had the opportunity to serve at Hope Harbor in various ways, working overnight shifts, weekends, evenings and the occasional classroom shift. While training to transfer to Hope Harbor Winona as Lead Staff I’ve been able to see and experience many different sides of both the girls here and the ministry as a whole!
Why I Am A Believer, In Three Sentences: I’m a believer because I know that who I am without Christ is meaningless. Even if I achieved everything the world has to offer, apart from the saving grace of Jesus, I’d really have nothing. For me, I’m truly alive and truly free in Christ alone.
My Favorite Scripture: Romans 8:37-39 "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Our Board of Directors serve in a voluntary capacity to govern Hope Harbor through leadership, planning, and decision making central to the overall operations of the ministry. Each member brings personal gifts and talents from backgrounds and professions to maximize the impact of Hope Harbor on the families we serve, the community in which we operate, and further God's Kingdom as a whole.
Board members also volunteer in a variety of ways within the ministry; tutoring, interceding, teaching, administrating, fundraising, and more. Our Board is a vital team that works together to keep us operating at our full potential. Contact us here if you are interested in finding out more about our board or are interested in serving a term!
Current 2017 Board of Directors:
Benjamin Wiener, Chair Jeremiah Jans, Vice Chair Kari Metheny
Jessica Williams Mike Leary Jeff Bragg
Leslie Knutson Abby Miller Allan Ward
Mickie Paluch Kristi Matzner
Cindy McKittrick, ex officio
Claudia Stenson, ex officio