Hazard Spotlight: Sarah Chandler

Chandler, with her pastor, Ben Fugate, inside Hope House.

Who are you, and what roles do you fill in your community?

My name is Sarah Jane Chandler and I am the Event and Fundraising Coordinator for Hope House in Hazard, Ky. I’m mostly just a church member, a wife, and mom, though!

What do you most appreciate about your community?

There are several things I appreciate about Hazard. Most of all, I appreciate how much this community wants to change and give. I have been truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that everyone has offered to Hope House. The community members here have shown nothing but love for our vision and have made it possible for us to start and sustain the homeless shelter.

What’s your vision for Hazard, and what’s a community project you’ve been a part of that makes strides towards that vision?

My vision for Hazard would be that there would be no division. I would LOVE for outsiders to come in and not see a difference between those with and those without. There is a Dr. Seuss book I think about when I think of our residents, “The Snitches.” Our residents, and others like them, have “no stars upon tears.”  I would like for the homeless and the poor to have every opportunity to better themselves and make a life that before, they only dreamed of.

Hope House is not only a homeless shelter, we are a center for visionaries. We are striving to be life changers. We will be assisting our residents in getting gainful employment, not just a job, and helping them overcome any obstacles, whether that be drugs, alcohol, mental illness, or even social issues, and also housing. We feel that there are plenty of people that are right here in Hazard, at our disposal, that can help us with our vision. We have had so many offer up theirselves and their services. We truly appreciate our community!

Who is a member of your community that you admire and why?

This is a hard question because there are so many. The person that stands out to me most is, Diana Patula. She is the owner of McDonald’s in Hazard and Whitesburg, but furthermore, she is a leader and visionary. Diana moved here from Pennsylvania and has made a HUGE footprint on this town. She is involved in many community projects and groups that are all working constantly to better Hazard. She has the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone. Diana is humble but strong. A true Proverbs 31 woman.