SOUTH BEND -- The hundred or so residents of Hope Family Life Center know a lot about new beginnings.
The majority of the adults here are recovering from an addiction and simultaneously seeking to transform their lives.
On Monday evening, they and their kids were the recipients of a little New Year's cheer.
Members of Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger came calling with snacks, games and conversation.
The last day of the year is an especially crucial one for the men, women and children who call the center home, Sarah Greenawalt, Community Outreach director for Hope Ministries, said.
"For one," she said, "the symbolism of starting a new year," -- turning over a new leaf -- "And, about 75 percent of adults we deal with deal with an addiction," she said. "The New Year's holiday can be a trigger."
Matt Ernsperger, with Harvest Bible Chapel, said though the church has partnered with Hope in other ways for more than three years, 2012 was the first year for members to throw a New Year's party there.
"Tonight is very, very relaxed," he said before the event got under way... '"Really, we're just going to minister love on families."
Julie Fulwider, 32, said she and her two children came to the center in hopes of finding family.
"I've done that through Hope and Harvest (Bible Chapel)," she said. "I feel like I'm walking into the new year with people who want to be there for me and love me, just because."
Sheere Fervida has been a resident of Hope since October 2011.
Last New Year's Eve, she said, her daughter was gone visiting her father.
So though she got lots of hugs from fellow Hope residents, Fervida said she was a bit lonely.
"This year," she said, "I don't feel alone. Not even close."
Volunteers from the church planned to stay and ring in 2013 with the Hope residents.
"We have no agenda," Ernsperger said...."If it takes off," he said of the party, "maybe next year, we'll have a band."
Staff writer Kim Kilbride: