Gallery+Story: House of Hope Reopens as Guiding Star El Paso; Expands Services

Thursday is the Feast of Saint Francis. It sort of fits the scene as I was standing outside of Guiding Star, at 1411 Montana. As different people spoke, and Bishop Mark Seitz blessed the building, birds were singing their chorus as they watched on.

As Melody Fausett, Community Engagement Coordinator of Guide Star El Paso Paso sat in the back patio area, you could hear, faintly, the birds singing their song, and soft music was coming from speakers along the patio.

An idyllic setting for women and families seeking help before, during and after their pregnancy.

As of Thursday, Guiding Star El Paso officially took over and expanded the mission of House of Hope.

“We changed our name,” says Melody, “from House of Hope to Guiding Star El Paso because we affiliated with a national organisation called Guiding Star Project.”

House of Hope wanted to expand their services to cover a woman from before pregnancy too well after their child is born.

“Right now, we offer free pregnancy tests. Free, limited obstetrical ultrasounds. We also offer counseling for women who have an unexpected pregnancy, leading them to make an informed decision,” says Melody Fausett. “We also are expanding to offer Well Women care within the next year.”

“As a woman,” says Melody, “I think I speak for other women when I say our bodies are not celebrated, not respected. Guiding Star El Paso is trying to change the norm.”

Melody says that there are not a lot of centers that offer their type of holistic health care.

“In fact,” says Melody, “we’re going to be the only one in the Southwest region that provides this sort of natural,  holistic health care.”
Guiding Star El Paso follows a natural law ethic when providing care to all their clients.

“Our natural law ethic is the idea that as women in particular, and human beings in general, often it’s so easy for society or our culture to tell us what is right and what is wrong in how we manage our health care,” said Melody. “We believe the best way is to let our bodies do what they were naturally meant to do. Whether it’s childbirth, breastfeeding, or fertility. We’re there to really create a space that
celebrates woman rather than make them feel like they have to do certain things in order to be celebrated in their society in terms of how they view their healthcare.”

One thing Guiding Star does realize is that having a child, and the time that comes after the child is born can be hard. Even if a woman is experiencing depression, Guiding Star of El Paso partners with other organisations to help meet even those needs.

“A family can’t be as strong as it can be if the woman is not healthy,” says Melody Fausett. “We offer parenting classes for pregnant women and new mothers, and that helps build a strong family. We also offer fertility awareness classes. We believe by doing that we strengthen marriages, we strengthen couples, and we strengthen families.”

They also have a program called You Matter, Thrive. This program aims to take health relationship education into schools.

“We have to teach our young people, from an early age, what does it mean to be in a healthy relationship, what’s going on with your body,” says Melody. “If you or anyone you know is looking for services, or is pregnant and doesn’t know what to do, you can
call our phone number at 915-544-9600. Or you can visit us on the website.”

“Guiding Star El Paso is a really amazing place that is trying to harness a whole life perspective of our bodies as women and as people,” says Melody. “We would love for you to come and check out everything that we are doing in El Paso. Also, if you are in a situation where you are pregnant and don’t know what to do, come talk to us, we’ll give you all the information. We really want you to make that
informed decision.”


If you would like to listen to the audio of my interview with Melody Fausett, or the speakers from today event (A special dedication and blessing will be given by Bishop Mark J. Seitz, Catholic Diocese of El Paso and Reverend William C. Cobb, Church of St. Clement, Mayor, Dee Margo, District 8 City Representative, Cissy Lizarraga, VP of Outreach and Community Engagement for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC), Dr. Manny De La Rosa as well as other prominent members of our community)
simply click ‘play’ above.