Hope Force Appalachia exists to alleviate the effects of systemic and generational poverty in McDowell County, WV. It is a place that is filled with beauty, not only in the landscape but more so in the people who call it home. In January 2020 Hope Force International reintroduced their vision and mission for this part of America by bringing Brian Wagner back on staff to oversee the work, relationships, and partnerships in McDowell. As an organization we seek to build strong, lasting relationships with the people of the county, coming alongside our neighbors to help from a grassroots level in addressing the many challenges of McDowell. It has been cited as one of the poorest places in America, suffering from extreme food insecurity, lack of infrastructure, and high unemployment because of the lack of jobs. It is estimated that 75% of households do not have a gainfully employed individual, and 45% of kids do not live with either biological parent because of drug addiction, incarceration, or death. All these statistics and realities pale in comparison to the grit and resiliency of the people who call McDowell home. Carved within these mountains are hollows filled with beautiful people doing the best they can to make ends meet. Their struggle is real, but their hope is greater.
Hope Force Appalachia places relationships ahead of projects, emphasizing and empowering ongoing partnerships between those in the county with those who serve alongside them from outside the county. We understand that God is already at work in the lives of the people here, and it is our intention to come alongside them to accomplish what God has planned in this wonderful part of southern West Virginia.
We invite you to join us in the hollows of southern West Virginia. The Hope Force house can comfortably accommodate a team of 18. From roofing to painting, debris removal to landscaping, front porch sitting to trail riding on a 4-wheeler, our hope is to introduce people to the county, believing they will fall in love with the people and place we call home.
If you would like to send a team to partner with us in 2023, please let us know. The weeks are already filling up for the summer. Email our Director of Hope Force Appalachia, Brian Wagner.
Watch the video below to see the impact that our teams have had in Appalachia.