Faces of HOPE: Pastor Claire Montenegro

Eagle Brook Church in Anoka is a “roll-up-your-sleeves kind of crowd” that brings its teachings to life through hands-on service. That includes supporting HOPE 4 Youth.

“Our mission is that we’re empowered by God to reach others for Christ,” explained Pastor Claire Montenegro. “HOPE 4 Youth makes it easy for us to do that for local youth who are surviving amid homelessness.”

Claire (right) with her coworker Kathryn at the HOPE 4 Youth Out of the Cold fundraiser.

Claire leads Anoka campus operations at Eagle Brook and has often been in the mix when church groups have volunteered for HOPE 4 Youth. As we move out of the COVID pandemic, she’s looking forward to reactivating folks with giving hearts who’ve been forced to sit on the sidelines.

“Eagle Brook attenders have been very kind with their time and sharing their skills,” she explained. “I’m excited to foster more of that generosity.”

Generosity like taking part in fundraising events and pitching in to cook meals and sort supplies at the HOPE 4 Youth Drop-In and Donations Center in Anoka. Claire says, no matter the work being done, her inspiration is the hope it creates for young people.

“Hope is understanding that you’re not alone,” she said. “And if things are tough, it’s going to be OK. Every human needs that hope. When it’s missing, that’s where things get out of whack in our lives.”

Besides countless hours of volunteering, Eagle Brook and its attenders also have a long history of monetary support. The latest gift, an $80,000 donation to create a HOPE 4 Youth Housing Stability Fund, brought Eagle Brook’s lifetime donation total to nearly $254,000. Over the years, nearly 200 individual Eagle Brook attenders have also made personal donations or volunteered time, and sometimes both.

“Our work with HOPE 4 Youth helps connect us back to our Eagle Brook mission,” Claire added. “When we serve anybody, we’re serving that young person and their future, and in doing so, we’re also serving God.”

This story is part of a series profiling people who’ve come together to support HOPE 4 Youth’s mission to offer young people pathways out of homelessness. Read more profiles.