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Celebrating Foster and Adoptive Mothers

“Jacob is a very kind young man whose greatest gifts are his quiet self-confidence, strength of character, and perseverance. We believe that we adopted each other. Having him as our son has enriched our lives.”

Cindy and Nancy Miller-Lusignan adopted their son Jacob in August of 2020, one month before Jacob turned 18. This Mother’s Day, One Hope United celebrates the selfless love our foster and adoptive mothers share, and the lasting impact they make in the lives of their children every day.

Nancy and Cindy received their first calling to become foster parents in 1989, when their nephew, Scottie, needed an immediate safe place to live. The situation was so urgent that after racing to New Hampshire, Nancy and Cindy finalized their guardianship of Scottie in the living room of the Justice of the Peace that night. “We had a lot to learn about the world of fostering, but we jumped in with both of our hearts,” Cindy shared.

Cindy and Nancy have always loved working with teenagers, providing unconditional love and support to their son Scottie as he healed from past trauma and became an adult. They said, “Honestly, the key principles for loving and raising teenagers are no different than for toddlers and young children. All they need is love, consistency, and help building a strong foundation.”

While it was impossible for two women to legally adopt at the time, Scottie found his forever family in Cindy and Nancy. Scottie shared, “I know who my parents are. I chose them because they were always there with love and structure in place. They say it takes a village to raise a child – I believe it takes a strong woman, and I have two.”

The couple got involved with One Hope United after attending an event at the Lake Villa residential home in 2009. One afternoon, they shared with an OHU staff member that their dog, Penne, is a certified therapy dog. Soon after, Nancy and Cindy began volunteering with the Lake Villa program regularly, often bringing Penne along to provide therapeutic services and comfort to young people on the campus. Cindy and Nancy are still actively involved with the Lake Villa program, and Cindy currently serves as Treasurer on One Hope United’s Board of Directors.

When Jacob was first placed at Lake Villa, staff members called Nancy, and asked if she could bring Penne over for a visit with Jacob. Cindy and Jacob began spending time together almost every week. Cindy said, “The very second I met Jacob I fell in love with him and knew I wanted to spend more time with him. After all of two minutes, I just knew we were meant to be together forever. Jacob radiates personal strength, and the depth of his character is apparent to anyone who meets him.”

Nancy and Cindy continued to spend time with Jacob as he settled into life at OHU’s Lake Villa campus. They have enjoyed attending Jacob’s basketball games ever since he was in seventh grade, when Cindy was the only person he allowed to come because he knew she wouldn’t embarrass him. “That was an immense honor and privilege!” Cindy shared.

While they felt disappointed when Jacob was placed with another foster parent after completing treatment at Lake Villa, Cindy and Nancy knew they wanted to remain in his life. Cindy began visiting Jacob in Rockford a few times each week to attend basketball games, school events, tutoring, meetings – anything that was needed or wanted. They also welcomed Jacob into their home for weekend visits and vacations.

After slightly more than a year, new demands, including caring for an ill family member and juggling education and work, led Jacob’s foster father to ask Nancy and Cindy if they would become Jacob’s foster parents. Jacob moved in with them the next day.

Nancy and Cindy shared that their OHU licensing worker was very skilled, and kept them informed at every step of their foster care and adoption journey. “She coached us on technical issues and calmed our nerves,” they said. “Most of all, in the early morning when I got the call from Jacob’s foster dad asking if we could take him, she made it happen in 24 hours. She made a huge difference.”

Because Jacob was an older youth in care, he had the right to determine his permanency status – whether or not he wanted to be adopted. As an older teen with a long history of trauma and failed placements, Jacob was most interested in developing independent living skills, not adoption. But one morning a few days before an upcoming permanency hearing, Jacob told Cindy, “I’m ready now.”

Jacob will be graduating from high school in a couple of days, and is looking forward to attending college in the fall, where he earned a scholarship to study art and has signed to play college basketball.

When asked what advice they would share with other foster or adoptive parents, Cindy and Nancy shared, “Strength in and commitment to your decision are critical to success. You will have friends and family members who will not understand, but you will find support in unexpected places. The end goal of fostering is to help a young person find their own way and develop their own voice.”

Cindy concluded, “Our family is undeniable proof that One Hope United makes dreams come true for kids and parents.”

Hope Talks | April 2021

Hope Talks

Creating a Better Future for Children by Preventing Child Abuse”

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Hope Talks

One Hope United is proud to bring you Hope Talks, monthly conversations with leaders in the child and family welfare sector. By having these conversations, we hope to inspire actionable change and work together to improve outcomes for the children and families we serve.

In this month’s episode, Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer is joined by Katelyn Brewer, President & CEO of Darkness to Light, to discuss Creating a Better Future for Children by Preventing Child Abuse.

About Katelyn Brewer

High energy, entrepreneurial executive, Katelyn N. Brewer, is passionate about empowering people, organizations, and communities to enhance the impact of social movements. As President & CEO of Darkness to Light, the nation’s leading advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse, her expertise in transforming organizational cultures, achieving programmatic scale, and implementing behavior change communication lends invaluable insight to the larger conversation of child protection as a collective adult responsibility. Through education, advocacy, and research, Darkness to Light continues to revolutionize the way society keeps children safe from abuse.

Katelyn’s dedication to innovation, emerging technologies, and cross-team alignment empowers nonprofits to achieve critical social goals. Her work has resulted in sustainable change for communities, both nationally and internationally. Katelyn continually demonstrates that grassroots community initiatives lay the groundwork for organizations to expand their missions globally.

Katelyn is a graduate of Wheaton College in Boston, MA with a bachelor’s in International Relations and French. She lives in Charleston, SC.

About One Hope United

Founded in 1895, One Hope United is a multistate nonprofit that helps children and families build the skills to live life without limits. We serve over 10,000 children and families each year through education centers, child and family services, counseling, and residential programs. With our evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, we empower children and families to see and create a future where, regardless of their past, they can reach their full potential.

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Providing Hope and Healing for Survivors of Child Abuse

Providing Hope and Healing for Survivors of Child Abuse

Written by Dennis Delgado, Executive Director of One Hope United’s Community Based Family Services

Why does child abuse occur in the first place? Truthfully, there is never any excuse for it. But while it can be difficult to view perpetrators of child abuse as human beings facing many challenges in their own lives, they are in fact struggling with things like lack of parental capacity or parental education. Even in the face of such adversity, there is hope. With systems in place to address factors including stress, substance abuse, mental health treatment, and parental support, our communities can come together to help keep our children safe.

Abuse causes severe trauma for children and youth – trauma that can often be prevented through additional resources and education for families. The case managers and therapists at OHU’s Community Based Family Services provide evidence-based programs for youth who have experienced trauma, including child abuse. These programs, including Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) and Intensive Family Services (IFS), are designed to address the needs of youth who may still be experiencing emotional or behavioral problems as they process trauma. We offer resources, education, and redirection that increases their capacity to lead happier and healthier lives as they grow and move toward healing.

Additionally, OHU helps caregivers, as well as the overall family unit, to overcome concerns that have led to unsafe living conditions or decreased parenting capacity. These programs include, but are not limited to, Intact Family Services, Foster Care, Extensive Community Home Outreach (ECHO), Wrap, and traditional outpatient counseling services. Our case managers and therapists in these programs target the specific reasons for case referral, as well as the factors that contributed to caregivers choosing to abuse or neglect their children. Ultimately, these services allow caregivers to gain the knowledge, understanding, and treatment needed to fully care for their children in a manner that encourages growth, development, and healing.

Healing is an interesting concept that every person understands differently. At One Hope United, healing is the process through which children and families can become healthy again. We all heal, and become whole again, in ways that are unique to our own minds. Real healing is an individual journey where we restore what is damaged to work toward a healthy future. It looks different for every person, because to heal, each person needs to make a conscious decision to allow the process to begin. Just as healthcare professionals helps patients heal after a physical injury or illness, One Hope United’s child welfare professionals, social workers and therapists guide children, youth and families toward a path and lifestyle of healing that is sustainable and life-affirming.

You can support One Hope United’s child abuse prevention programs by donating here.

Hope Talks | March 2021

Hope Talks

“Making a Difference in the Lives of Children and Families Through Advocacy”

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Hope Talks

One Hope United is proud to bring you Hope Talks, monthly conversations with leaders in the child and family welfare sector. By having these conversations, we hope to inspire actionable change and work together to improve outcomes for the children and families we serve.

In this month’s episode, One Hope United’s President and CEO, Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer, is joined by Dr. Jody Levison-Johnson, President and CEO of The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation, to discuss Making a Difference in the Lives of Children and Families Through Advocacy.

About Jody Levison-Johnson, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Jody Levison-Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker with nearly 30 years of experience in the field of human services. She currently serves as the President and CEO of The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Council on Accreditation, two nonprofit organizations in the midst of a merger working to create a dynamic network of human and social service organizations, activate the power of the social sector, and propel continuous evolution and policy change.

Jody is a longstanding champion for systems change that results in the ability for individuals and communities to thrive. Over several decades, her career has crossed a variety of private and public sector settings, including direct service organizations, a national membership association, state and local governments, and a management and consulting organization. Jody’s experiences leading system reform efforts across the country have prompted her interest in the environmental contexts that surround deep change in social and public systems. Jody holds a Master of Social Work degree from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts and PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.

About One Hope United

Founded in 1895, One Hope United is a multistate nonprofit that helps children and families build the skills to live life without limits. We serve over 10,000 children and families each year through education centers, child and family services, counseling, and residential programs. With our evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, we empower children and families to see and create a future where, regardless of their past, they can reach their full potential.

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The Difference a Social Worker Can Make

No matter the circumstance surrounding a child’s interaction with a social worker, children remember how they were treated, and whether the social worker showed them compassion. This March, in honor of National Social Work Month, One Hope United is proud to share the impact that our social workers make in the lives of thousands of children and families each year.  

According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, children learn to trust others, regulate their emotions, and interact with the world through their relationships with their primary caregivers. If a child has experienced trauma and, as a result, feels that they can’t trust their parent or caregiver, a social worker may be one of the only consistent and dependable adult figures in that child’s life. 

A child may meet their social worker for the first time when they’re waiting for a foster care placement, traveling for a visit with their biological family members, or in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. Having a caring figure in these turbulent moments gives children a sense of stability. Courtney Dundee, therapist with One Hope United’s Community Based Family Services, described her role as “walking alongside children during the hardest part of their little lives, and helping them get to the other side where they feel hopeful and safe once again.”

One Hope United’s former clients have shared that the small interactions they had with their social worker made all the difference. Whether a social worker remembered their favorite flavor of soda or chatted with them about a TV show, these moments helped them to feel seen and recognized. 

Sarah Tunning, Executive Director of OHU’s Florida Services, shared a memory of a young boy who spent one day at her office while waiting for his next foster care placement. He exhibited several complex behavioral issues related to past trauma and was having a hard day. His case manager told Sarah what his favorite food and drink items were from a few restaurants in the area, and after Sarah picked them up and the boy had his meal, he felt much calmer, and was able to relax. “We spend a lot of time with these children during ‘in-between’ times, riding in the car or waiting at the office,” Sarah said. “The in-between moments seem small, but they allow children to have more interactions with people who really care.”

Teenagers involved in the child welfare system also benefit from a supportive and caring social worker. They may keep in touch with their social worker even after services end, often turning to them for help connecting to community resources, or simply for someone to listen. Mallory Johnston, Case Manager with One Hope United’s Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services (CCBYS) program, described her experience working with a homeless teenager in December of 2020. She helped him move into a homeless shelter in Mount Vernon, Illinois on his 18th birthday, and throughout their 90 days together, Mallory helped him to enroll in high school and obtain a medical card. They also discussed his future and worked on important life skills. He is currently on-track to graduate in May of 2021. Mallory said, “He sees me as a constant support system, and as someone who is willing to help him with whatever he needs at the time. There is hardly a day that goes by that I do not receive a ‘good morning’ text from him.”

Additionally, social workers support parents who may feel they have almost no one else to turn to. Dennis Delgado, Executive Director of One Hope United’s Community Based Family Services, shared about a 17-year-old single mother of two who received services from a One Hope United social worker. This young woman was a senior in high school and working part-time to care for her children.  She also was a victim of domestic violence and had recently lost the support of her mother. She often shared concerns about having had to grow up too soon and missing out on her youth.

This young woman shared that she felt her life was transformed after receiving domestic violence services, paid day care services, and individual counseling. She also received day-to-day household essentials, including food, diapers, and children’s clothes. While working with her OHU case manager, she decided to fully end her relationship with her children’s father, and obtained an order of protection against him. She was also able to attend her senior prom and graduate from high school.

Initially, this young woman could not believe her social worker would actually help her with her needs,” Dennis said. “They were successful because they collaborated for the good of the family.”

Dennis concluded, “Social workers are essentially a light in the darkness that the children and families we serve often face. They are often angels in disguise.     

Hope Talks | February 2021

Hope Talks

Investing in Communities for the Health of our Children

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Hope Talks

One Hope United is proud to bring you Hope Talks, monthly conversations with leaders in the child and family welfare sector. By having these conversations, we hope to inspire actionable change and work together to improve outcomes for the children and families we serve.

In this month’s episode, Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer is joined by Bryan Echols, Principal and Founder of BE. The Change Consulting, to discuss Investing in Communities for the Health of our Children.

About Bryan Echols

Bryan Echols is currently a Senior Advisor for Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs. In his capacity as a Senior Advisor, Bryan brings his years of banking, financial services, nonprofit management and academic experiences to serve the Treasurer and the State of Illinois. Before coming to the State Treasurer’s office, he served as the Community Restorative Justice Hubs Director in the city of Chicago.

Bryan is also the Principal and Founder of BE. The Change Consulting. BE. The Change Consulting works in the areas of youth leadership development, civic engagement, community organizing, the intersectionality of race and class, and cross-cultural equity work. He enjoys teaching Master’s level and Ph.D. students at Adler University in the Social Justice Practicum. He has chaired the Multicultural Leadership Council for the American Heart Association for the last 3 years. Echols is currently a board member for the Workers Center for Racial Justice, Board Treasurer for United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, and a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Fellow.

About One Hope United

Founded in 1895, One Hope United is a multistate nonprofit that helps children and families build the skills to live life without limits. We serve over 10,000 children and families each year through education centers, child and family services, counseling, and residential programs. With our evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, we empower children and families to see and create a future where, regardless of their past, they can reach their full potential.

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Celebrating Black Leaders in Child and Family Welfare

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the stories of African Americans who have brought about incredible advancements throughout history. This month at One Hope United, we are highlighting Black leaders who dedicated their careers to Child and Family Welfare.

 

Carter Godwin Woodson

Black History Month grew out of Negro History Week, which was the brainchild of noted historian, author and journalist, Carter Godwin Woodson. While studying at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, Woodson noted that the teaching of American history largely ignored African Americans. He dedicated his life to educating the public about the achievements and contributions of African Americans, and because of his work, we celebrate the central role African Americans have played in American history every February. He chose February because the month contained the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two prominent men whose historic achievements African Americans already celebrated.

Source: History.com

 

Thyra Edwards

Thyra J. Edwards, born in 1897, the granddaughter of runaway slaves, grew up in Houston, Texas and started her career there as a school teacher. Edwards would eventually become a world lecturer, journalist, labor organizer, women’s rights advocate, and civil rights activist all before her 40th birthday. After World War II ended, she opened the first child care program in Rome, to serve survivors of the Holocaust.

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University

 

 

Fanny Jackson Coppin

Fanny Jackson Coppin was a teacher, principal, lecturer, and missionary to Africa. She was born a slave, but fervently pursued education and felt her purpose in life was to provide educational opportunities for Black youth. She taught evening classes for freedmen while earning her degree at Oberlin College, and eventually became the first Black school principal in the United States. She once said, “It was in me… to get an education and to teach my people. This idea was deep in my soul.”

Source: Coppin State University

 

 

Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. In 1973, she founded the Children’s Defense Fund, and lobbied Congress to increase resources for adoption, change the foster care system, and support children in need.

Source: Children’s Defense Fund

 

Janie Porter Barrett

Janie Porter Barrett founded the Locust Street Social Settlement to educate African American youth in 1890. In 1915, she founded the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls to help young women become self-reliant, educated, and prepared for employment. She is best known for her work to rehabilitate young African American women who had been imprisoned.

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University

 

 

Even in the face of the challenges we face as a country in this moment, there is hope. These trailblazing leaders paved the way for our Case Managers, Social Workers, Therapists, Teachers, and all those at One Hope United who work endlessly to ensure the wellbeing of the children, youth and families we serve. We are grateful for their legacy of leadership.

 

 

Hope Talks | January 2021

Hope Talks

“The Intersection of Community-Based Organizations”

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Hope Talks

One Hope United is proud to bring you Hope Talks, monthly conversations with leaders in the child and family welfare sector. By having these conversations, we hope to inspire actionable change and work together to improve outcomes for the children and families we serve.

In the first episode of Hope Talks, “The Intersection of Community-Based Organizations,” Howard Brown Health President and CEO, David Ernesto Munar, joins President and CEO of One Hope United, Dr. Charles A. Montorio-Archer, to discuss the similar challenges their organizations face in serving their communities and the steps they’ve taken to meet this historic moment.

About David Ernesto Munar

Since joining Howard Brown Health in 2014, David Ernesto Munar has focused on ensuring the delivery of excellent patient services, strengthening finances and operations, and positioning the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ organization for long-term sustainability and growth.  Prior to Howard Brown, Munar honed his career at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago where he held several positions, including President and CEO.

He served on the boards of the Cook County Health and Hospital System, the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, AllianceChicago, and the Black AIDS Institute.  In 2007, he helped launch a national coalition that led to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy unveiled by President Obama in July 2010.  In 2019, he co-chaired Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Healthy Children & Families Transition Committee and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Health and Human Services Transition Committee.

About One Hope United

Founded in 1895, One Hope United is a multistate nonprofit that helps children and families build the skills to live life without limits. We serve over 10,000 children and families each year through education centers, child and family services, counseling, and residential programs. With our evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, we empower children and families to see and create a future where, regardless of their past, they can reach their full potential.

Don't miss out on future Hope Talks!

Sign up to have future Hope Talks emailed directly to your inbox and never miss a future episode!


No Longer Silent

“You are the strongest person to ever sit in that chair,” Judge Ericka Sanders said to 16-year-old Bailey*. Bailey and her team of OHU counselors listened intently as Judge Sanders went on to praise Bailey for sharing her story of trauma and abuse, and bravely taking the next step in her healing process.   

Bailey’s testimony comes three years after that of her twin sister, Bree*, who testified in court to the horrific abuse both girls endured at the hands of their adoptive father. This man is now in prison for the sexual assault of Bree that resulted in a pregnancy at the age of 13, and for the kidnapping of Bree and her son, Eli*. In the same year that Bree became pregnant, the girls lost their mother to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that also inhabits Bailey’s body.   

Because Bree was the only victim identified in the case, Bailey was denied the opportunity to testify at their adopted father’s trial. For three years, Bailey has carried the weight of this forced silence with her. She has since been placed at One Hope United’s Centralia residential home for a second time after struggling with self-harm, suicidal ideations, and depression.  

In February of 2020, Bailey’s counselors had an idea. The team wondered what would be different for Bailey if she could rewrite her narrative. What if she could tell her story to someone who could make real changes in the system? How would life be different for Bailey if she had her day in court? Judge Ericka Sanders, the Marion County Juvenile Judge, agreed that Bailey deserved this opportunity.  

Judge Sanders has made great efforts to prioritize the mental health of any youth who comes into her courtroom. Knowing Judge Sanders’ propensity to be an agent of change, Bailey’s care team reached out to her with a novel idea. The team wanted to bring Bailey to the courthouse to testify in front of a judge and to share the story she had been unable to tell three years prior. Within 15 minutes of the email being sent, Judge Sanders responded saying she would be honored to help.   

Two weeks later, Judge Sanders met with Bailey’s care team at a local coffee house to iron out the details. OHU counselors Jayme Godoyo, Sarah Downen, Brandon Newcomer, and Jessica Perry shared more details of Bailey’s story with Judge Sanders. They agreed that Bailey’s court session should be treated as if it were a real court session, complete with Judge Sanders in her black robe and calling court into session for The People vs. Bailey’s abuser. Judge Sanders also shared with the team that the courthouse now has access to a therapy dog, and that it would be a good idea for Bailey to first practice being in the courtroom. The team agreed Bailey would love this idea, and it would be the perfect opportunity for the dog to use his skills.   

On the day of Bailey’s court session, Judge Sanders offered her the choice to sit at a table or in the witness stand. Without hesitating, Bailey chose the witness stand.   

When Bailey took her seat to the left side of the judge, she paused for a moment. Bailey was given the space and silence she needed to collect herself as her counselor, Jayme Godoyo, took a seat next to her. Quietly, Jayme provided Bailey the comfort she needed to regain her composure. Not sure where to begin, Jayme encouraged Bailey to start with her earliest memory.  

The adults in the room sat silent and still, fighting back tears at times, as Bailey took the next thirty minutes to tell the story she had waited years to tell. With Jayme at her side, Bailey recounted the abuse she endured, the devastation she felt over her mom’s death, and the guilt she still carries with her today because she couldn’t stop her sister Bree’s sexual assault. “I’m protective of her,” Bailey said. “I’m happy we have Eli [Bree’s son], but I’m sad she got pregnant.”   

When Bailey finished, she looked out onto the small crowd of people and said, “does anyone have any questions?” The conviction in her tone was that of a young woman in control of a room. When asked what advice she would give to other young girls who may have shared similar experiences, without hesitation Bailey softly but strongly stated, “Keep fighting…always keep fighting.”   

*Names have been changed to protect privacy. 

 LEARN MORE ABOUT OHU’S RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS

Hope for the Holidays

“Someday, I want my kids to live in a house like this,” Michael said, looking around at the three-story renovated home for the first time.

Michael had just toured One Hope United’s new residential home, called Hope House, in Fort Lauderdale. He told house parents he had never stepped foot in a place like this before. Dancing around, he confidently stated he wants to do what’s right, so he can live somewhere like this when he grows up.

Before moving into Hope House, Michael faced many struggles. Michael is a dually involved teenager, which means he’s interacted with both the child welfare and juvenile detention systems in his young life. Dually involved young people often face a high level of difficulty obtaining a placement in foster care, significant barriers to achieving permanency and are at a higher risk for lengthy stays in detention facilities.

Hope House is uniquely positioned to serve young people aged 14-17 like Michael. The staff ratio at Hope House is 4:1, which means more individualized attention from house parents. In choosing a property, Sarah Tunning, Executive Director of OHU’s services in Florida, wanted to provide “a really nice home environment for the young men, first and foremost.”

One Hope United focuses on making sure the environment at Hope House is not only inclusive, but it sets youth up for success. For example, when a young person is placed at Hope House, they first go to a local retail store with one of their house parents, so they can choose the right hygiene products for their unique skin and hair needs. In other group home or foster care placements, these young men may have had to use whatever personal care products were on hand in the home, even if it irritated their skin or wasn’t right for their hair. Then, they go out to dinner with a house parent, where they discuss strategies that will help them grow and develop in the coming months.

After they settle into their new home, these young men focus on independent living skills like improving academic performance, getting a part-time job, and opening a savings account. “Our goal is that when these young men turn 18, they’re on a college or career path, and they’ve strengthened healthy relationships with their family members and mentors in the area,” Sarah shared.

Sarah has noticed strong connections forming already between the youth currently living at Hope House. Two of the young men living in the house, Matthew and Ben, developed a strong friendship in just a few weeks. When Matthew had a mental health episode and had to go to the hospital, Ben made sure to look after his things while he was gone.

“These are kids that are used to fighting for everything,” Sarah said. “We want them to feel they are safe here, and to know their house parents really care about them.”

To celebrate the holidays, the young men living at Hope House will enjoy a special meal prepared by their house dad who loves to cook. Then, they’ll play board games together in the living room, lit by their Christmas tree.

You can purchase specific items requested by house parents and the young men living at Hope House here. You can also learn about our other residential programs at this link.

*names of the young men living at Hope House have been changed to protect privacy. 

SUPPORT HOPE HOUSE   OHU RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS