We go into their home and we teach them how to cook, budget and shop. We teach them how to launder their clothes. We teach them how to take the bus, and how to get back and forth to different things in the community.
I think personally it would give me a great feeling to know that Beth had a place she could call her home long after we were gone -- and I know that is true of other parents that we know.
The neatest thing about living in my own place is cause I love it here... I can do things on my own.
My dream was always living in a house and I got that dream, and I made that dream come true.
I really like it. This is the best place I ever lived, and my Dad was so happy when we found out about this program and found this place.
by ERICA STIGLMEIER
Residents living at HOPE’s 24-Hour Residential Care Home in Northridge gather each Wednesday to plan their upcoming week. They meet in the living room to discuss with staff where they want to go and how they want to be involved in the community. On some days it’s bowling and mini golf, and on others it’s trips to Santa Monica or the Discovery Museum.
Each resident has their unique interests and desires: Jerilyn and Rachael love singing, Nadine enjoys playing music, while Christine is a fan of watching movies. The onsite staff from Community Providers of Enrichment Services (CPES) strives to fill each of their days with engaging activities.
CPES is a behavioral health agency that provides services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Their goal at HOPE’s home in Northridge is to not only empower Jerilyn, Christine, Nadine, and Rachel to get involved in the community but also to exercise their independence to the fullest extent of their abilities.
Six years ago this wasn’t possible, as all four of the women previously lived in Fairview Developmental Center, one of the last three state-run institutions to house people with I/DD. Each of them lived in Fairview since childhood or adolescence.
After the Lanterman Act passed in 1969, California took action to gradually eliminate these developmental centers in favor of more personalized care. As outlined in the Lanterman Act, “People with developmental disabilities have the right to services and support to enable them to live an independent life.” Developmental centers have since given way to the regional center system that is state-funded, but privately operated by 21 autonomous nonprofit organizations.
For HOPE’s 24-Hour Residential Care Home in Northridge, the North Los Angeles Regional Center has been instrumental in setting these women up for success. Regional centers use a person-centered approach to help plan, access, and coordinate the services and support that their clients need. They contract with nonprofit and for-profit organizations, to provide those services to individuals with developmental disabilities, and they arrange, fund, and monitor those service providers that assist their clients in maintaining prosperous lives.
For the women that live here, success looks like freedom of choice. They choose their activities and hobbies while being supported by onsite staff. Daily outings and weekly trips to places like aquariums and the Queen Mary all serve to continually engage the residents in their community, while also encouraging personal interests and exploration.
“The home setting has also helped provide a normalized environment for these women,” says Monique Witherspoon, Residential Administrator at CPES. “They have their neighborhood, their home, and their own rooms.”
These vibrant daily routines, coupled with a stable home environment, have produced an increased quality of life for all four residents – most notably Jerilyn. Born in Detroit, Jerilyn had been in the developmental center from a very young age before moving into her HOPE home. When she entered this new housing, she did not speak and rarely participated in community activities. However, after only a year, she became the group’s social butterfly who likes to sing and cook dinner. Jerilyn’s brother is amazed by how much she’s flourished since transitioning to the HOPE home. “She talks more and is so much more sociable,” he says. “The program provided to them by this team has been crucial to her continued development.”
For Jerilyn, Christine, Nadine, and Rachel, choice and independence have encouraged positive change. Increased autonomy has opened a world of community engagement, which may not have otherwise been experienced. This home is a perfect example of how with the right partnerships between organizations like HOPE, CPES, and North Los Angeles Regional Center we can together continue to create life-enhancing housing for people with developmental disabilities.
It is through the generosity of donors that new homes will continue to be created and future residents will have the opportunity to experience freedom, growth, and greater independence. To support our cause, join HOPE’s sustaining gift program, Mission Makers. For as little as $10 per month you can help make the dream of living with dignity and independence come true for HOPE’s next resident.
HOPE offers a giant thank you to Board Treasurer Robert Irlen for his generous gift of $5,000 to support our cause and join the Ambassador 5 Circle. Bob is a longtime benefactor of our mission, parent of a HOPE resident, past Board Member of Harbor Regional Center, and community leader. We could not be more proud of his belief in our work and his willingness to step up and fund our future impact in the community.
Ambassador 5 Circle members are among HOPE’s most important donors. They are bound together by a shared commitment to the mission of creating stable, affordable homes for adults with developmental disabilities. These VIP patrons create the financial security for HOPE to move quickly when extraordinary opportunities arise.
“I am passionate about HOPE because of their core value of empowering residents to live independently…to make everyday choices that they may not otherwise have had the opportunity to make,” Bob says. “These are everyday things you and I may sometimes take for granted—what to eat, what to wear, what to do for leisure. And it is housing—housing which for out tenants wouldn’t be available without HOPE—which helps to plays a major role in this.”
Join Bob in becoming an Ambassador 5 Circle member by committing to a $5,000 or more annual gift and receive the following recognition and benefits:
Invitation to annual Ambassador 5 Circle recognition event
Appropriate recognition throughout the year in HOPE’s publications, website, and social media
Donor highlight at future open-house event
Insider briefings on HOPE breaking news and activities
An Ambassador 5 Circle lapel pin
Drum roll please.......HOPE, Inc. is thrilled to officially release our newest promotional video! Our mission to create stable, affordable homes for people with developmental disabilities is so vital. It is important for us to spread the message about the positive impact we can create with the support our donors, volunteers, and community partners.
This video features parents speaking to their concerns about long-term housing for their children with I/DD and how HOPE offers peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will have safe, permanent housing after they are gone.
HOPE residents discuss their independence and how they spend their days making choices and living life to the fullest. "I like to to be independent," Jodi says, "I just kept working on moving out and talking to people I needed to talk to to be able to move out." She mentions how lucky she feels to have such a wonderful home in a great neighborhood at an affordable rent.
RELATED: VIDEO: "HOPE in Norwalk"
Stable housing is essential to participation in most activities of daily life. HOPE offers that safe, stable housing that empowers our residents to reach their full potential and take advantage of all that life has to offer.
Through HOPE's three core housing models of 24 Hour Residential Care, Independent Living, and College to Career, we are changing lives!
To make a donation to support our important work, click here. We currently have more than 200 people with developmental disabilities standing by for their chance to move into a HOPE home.
HOPE is excited to announce the hiring of our new Director of Development & Asset Management, Daryl James. He is responsible for new project development and property management as well as oversight of all existing real estate assets. Daryl brings extensive experience in real estate, nonprofit management, and executive leadership. With his diverse background and unique skill sets he will propel our mission forward by executing new affordable housing development strategies and continuing our tradition of maintaining a portfolio of safe, stable, and healthy homes for those we serve.
Before joining HOPE, he served as the Executive Director at Rebuilding Together Long Beach where he coordinated more than 180 community revitalization projects in the city. He received his J.D. at USC and his B.S. in Finance from Howard University. In addition, Daryl completed the James Weldon Johnson Civil Rights Law Fellowship at the University of Miami in the summer of 2004. In 2015, he completed the Beyond the Basics Leadership Certificate Program, a pilot leadership training and educational program at California State University Long Beach. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Long Beach Institute class of 2015 and the Leadership Long Beach Executive Leadership Series class of 2016. Most recently, Mr. James was recognized as one of the “40 Under 40” by the Long Beach Post.
Ensuring that those HOPE serves have access to stable, safe, and affordable homes is the goal that HOPE staff and our donors in the community stand together to accomplish. In 2016 HOPE was grateful to receive $5,810 in donations to support our mission through our End-of-Year Giving Campaign. In 2017 we were blown away to receive more than $11,500-- doubling the total received during the previous year’s campaign. We cannot say thank you enough for our donors’ generosity.
Funds raised at the end of 2017 will go directly toward the purchase of two new housing locations and the renovation of five homes nearing completion.
We know that our donors do not take lightly the decision to give to a nonprofit organization. That is why we are so moved by the increase in community support for our cause.
Currently, HOPE provides homes for more than 300 people with developmental disabilities throughout Los Angeles County, but there are an additional 200 people who qualify for our housing who are standing by for our next location to open. Thank you for helping to make their dreams come true.
It’s not too late to support HOPE’s mission with an annual gift. Click here and help to create stable, affordable homes for people with developmental disabilities.