The Lincoln Park Hope Center was begun by Ron Heckathorn. The original vision was to meet the needs of individuals coming out of the prison system or struggling with addictions by offering free clothing, furniture, and a temporary place to stay. After opening, however, the majority of the needs being met were from the local community. As a result, the Hope Center became much more community-oriented and focused on giving clothing and household items.
In the fall of 2014 Erik Reinertsen, a local pastor, spearheaded the formation of an advisory board to come alongside Ron and the Hope Center. The board was tasked with helping the ministry through some growing pains and to foster more support for the Hope Center from nearby churches.
After 5 or 6 months of meeting the board became convinced that some changes would be necessary before the ministry would be in a place to ask local churches to participate. It was at this point that Ron asked the board to consider taking over the ministry. He had been running the ministry for nearly 6 years and was feeling called to leave Duluth. The board spent several months wrestling over this issue before finally agreeing to take on the ministry. On June 1st, 2016, with promised support from four local churches, the advisory board met one final time with Ron to accept ownership of the ministry.
Today the Hope Center is again open and seeking opportunities to meet the needs of the local community. Much has changed but much is the same. There are new faces, but the consistent passion to see Christ made much of in the Lincoln Park Community unites the old and the new.