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.
HOPE is thrilled to announce that during the previous two months we were awarded $75,000 from the S. Mark Taper Foundation, $10,000 from the Bank of the West Foundation, and $5,000 from the U.S. Bank Foundation.
As public resources become increasingly scarce to address the shortage of affordable housing in our state, HOPE has relied on community partners to sustain our mission of creating safe, stable, and affordable homes for adults with developmental disabilities. We cannot express enough how grateful we are for these community partners: individual donors, corporate sponsors, foundations, regional centers and cities, who over the years have contributed to our cause’s success.
Foundations are special amongst our community partners though. Throughout the years, they have continued to provide a steady stream of funding specific to grow internal capacity, push innovation, and expand programing. For this, we thank them and offer a special recognition of our three most recent grantors.
S. Mark Taper Foundation, assisting HOPE since 1999, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people's lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities. Their most recent grant to HOPE, in December for $75,000, will go toward renovating two of our most unique housing projects in Long Beach. Our Daisy location includes four small bungalows on a beautiful lot centered in the historic Willmore neighborhood. This housing will eventually serve eight people with intensive behavioral needs in a new supported living environment. Our Banner property on the other hand, with its new On My Own program, will serve seven adults who are ready to move from their families’ homes and into their very first apartments. “We are so happy to have the continued trust of S. Mark Taper Foundation,” said Kristin Martin, Executive Director of HOPE. “There is a real shortage of this type of specialized housing for adults with different levels of support needs. And this funding couldn’t have come at a better time as we finalize our renovations on these two exciting projects.”
In January we also received $10,000 from Bank of the West Foundation. These funds will be used to perform renovations at a HOPE home in our northeast service area. This grant is our first with Bank of the West Foundation whose mission is to help meet the needs of the communities they serve by supporting nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving quality of life, particularly for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. We are optimistic that this is just the beginning of a sustained and impactful relationship.
Finally, the U.S. Bank Foundation awarded HOPE $5,000 in January to assist with the renovations at our newest College-to-Career housing in Long Beach off of Clark Avenue. U.S. Bank Foundation has been a partner with our organization since 2010, and their ongoing contributions to our cause mean so much to our team and ultimately our tenants. Their mission is to support nonprofit organizations that assist with workforce education and economic prosperity, neighborhood stability and revitalization, and arts and culture.
HOPE wishes to express our highest level of appreciation for these foundations and their dedication to making lasting, positive change in their communities. Together we are creating independence, choice, and dignity through affordable housing for those most vulnerable in our society.
If you know of a contact at a foundation that funds community development, affordable housing, or services for people with developmental disabilities, please contact Jennifer Byram at Jennifer.email@example.com. Your introduction could be instrumental in securing funding to create HOPE’s next home!
One size does not fit all when it comes to housing. This is also true for people with developmental disabilities, a segment of the population that has been historically underserved with living options. For this reason, our organization offers several housing models: licensed homes, for those that require 24-hour medical or behavioral care; affordable homes, for those who are more self-reliant; and college to career housing, for students enrolled in community college but who require additional on-campus and residential supports.
HOPE believes a home should not just be a roof over our tenants’ heads; it should also empower them to make the most of their lives. And different people need different supports to reach their full potential and take advantage of all the opportunities that life has to offer.
One common concern of parents of young adults with developmental disabilities is the need for support in assisting their children as they prepare to move out on their own.
That is why HOPE is partnering with SL Start and Harbor Regional Center as they launch their newest supported living program, aptly titled, "On My Own." Beginning in February of 2017, this model will serve seven adults who are ready to move from their families’ homes and into their very first apartments. Residents will each receive their own one-bedroom unit in a recently renovated multifamily building. A staff office will be located onsite, with personnel available to provide ongoing supported living services as needed. This innovative model not only creates increased independence, but also peace of mind for both our residents and their families.
HOPE acquired the location in early 2016 with a vision of this program in mind. “The collaboration between agencies aims to provide housing plus the needed individualized levels of support for each resident as they move toward greater independence,” said Executive Director Kristin Martin. “Harbor Regional Center is at the forefront of creating housing programs that best serve the unique needs of their clients. We are excited as ever to play our role in assisting our newest residents find success during this important stage of their lives.”
The site is a beautiful eight-unit property at the heart of the Bixby Knolls neighborhood in Long Beach. Originally constructed in 1947, and maintaining much of its historic charm, the building has also been rehabilitated to improve safety and comfortability for future tenants. A special thank you should be given to the City of Long Beach for partnering with HOPE on the purchase of this much needed affordable housing by contributing more than $500K toward the purchase of the $1.6M residence.
Our first tenants began moving in on February 3rd as Associate Director, Denise Fanelli, was on site to welcome them to the HOPE family and distribute house keys. “It was great to see the excitement on their faces and their families there to support them as they start this next phase of their lives,” she said.
To add fanfare to this unique housing project, one of the new residents is none other than Cristina Sanz, star of the Emmy Award winning, A&E original docuseries, Born this Way. The show highlights the outgoing personalities and amazing abilities of seven young adults born with Down syndrome.
HOPE has followed along with the rest of America as we watched Christina build relationships, overcome challenges, and venture further toward independence, stability, and happiness. We are glad our newest housing program can play a role in her journey.
This show is an empowering opportunity for all people of differing abilities to witness a HOPE tenant on television successfully moving toward greater self-reliance. Filming began for the new season of Born this Way on Saturday, November 18th. More to come on her story this summer on A&E!
If you would like to sponsor an item for an On My Own or other HOPE residents that will help to turn their houses into homes, please consider making a contribution through our HOPE HELPS Gift Catalog.
Each year HOPE is blown away by the support we receive through our End-of-Year Giving campaign over the holiday season. As of January 12th, donors have raised $5,750 in support of our cause.
Last year, funds received at the end of 2015 were quickly put to work purchasing and renovating 10 additional homes for those we serve- a 13.8% increase to our portfolio. Staff cannot wait to get started on our 2017 housing objectives.
Manager of Community Relations Ian Nevarez oversaw this year's campaign. "HOPE is well on our way to accomplishing our 80 by '18 goal," said Ian. "We set out in 2015 to provide a home to 80 additional adults with developmental disabilities. We are currently at 59, almost 75% of our goal."
Our 2016 campaign consisted of #GivingTuesday emails and social media marketing appeals, a letter from Board Member Nori Dempsey, a holiday postcard reminder, and two end-of-year email solicitations sent to HOPE’s extended constituent base. Thank you to all of our volunteers, board members, staff, and donors who helped to make this year a success.
The nonprofit giving season is kicked off each year on #GivingTuesday. HOPE staff member Inez Coquereau designed this year’s appeals and explains the significance behind the day, “#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. It kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday giving and are searching for different ways to be generous.”
Also during this year’s campaign we launched our new HOPE Helps Gift Catalog that allows donors to choose a home item or renovation project that will benefit a neighbor with developmental disabilities while honoring a loved one with a free personalized card. Items can be selected that improve mobility for our residents like ADA sinks, ramps and widened doorways. There are donations that can go to support increased self-reliance like washers & dryers, stoves, or dishware. Lastly, some gifts help with increasing community like patio furniture, sofas, or dining room furniture. Consider this new way to support HOPE in lieu of tradition gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
The donations we received this year will go toward the renovation efforts at our newest “supported living” homes on Daisy Avenue in Long Beach and our affordable housing on Rosecrans Avenue in Norwalk. Also, gifts will be used to supplement the purchase of an additional affordable home in partnership with the City of Norwalk.
Our donors are the real heroes at to HOPE. Their contributions directly empower us to create housing stability for those most vulnerable in our communities. Our successes in 2016 were their successes, and our triumphs in the coming year will be due to their generosity.
HOPE looks forward to continuing our collective mission together in the coming year!
It’s never too late to donate through the HOPE Helps Gift Catalog in lieu of a traditional gift to a loved one. Make your gift here today and a personal card will be mailed to your honoree notifying them of the donation made in their name
“I’m still in touch with my foster family,” says Brandon Osborn. “I was actually just on the phone with one of my sisters. I try and keep in touch with my mother from day to day.”
Brandon is an outgoing 27 year old. This afternoon he stands tall and flashes a smile as he looks around his new apartment in East Long Beach. Six days ago he moved out on his own for the first time. He was able to financially accomplish this rite of passage due to the affordability of his new HOPE home.
It is difficult in today’s housing climate for low-income Californians like Brandon to find stable, affordable housing. As of September 2016, the median price for a one bedroom apartment in Long Beach was $2,155. At $10.50 minimum wage a renter would be required to work 154 hours a week to afford this rent and pay no more than 30% of their income on housing. Where a person can find affordable housing it is often not in a “healthy neighborhood,” defined as a safe community with adequate health promoting resources like parks, bike paths, healthy food retailers, recreation centers and activities.
The task of finding a home can be even more discouraging for people with developmental disabilities who face more daily challenges than their peers without disabilities. According to research, they are at a higher risk for a variety of medical conditions that can limit their ability to accomplish acts of daily living. They are more likely to be abused. They report having fewer people in their lives who offer emotional support. They have more difficulty accessing transportation. And finally, most are underemployed, despite their ability, desire, and willingness to work.
But Brandon is not the discouraging type.
He has worked hard over the years to get to where he is today, yet he knows he’s had plenty of help along the way. Brandon grew up in the foster care system. He’ll admit that he is one of the lucky ones. “I had the privilege to not be bounced around from foster home to foster home as a child,” he says, “I lived with the same family that took me in from 3 months old to 16.”
This doesn’t mean it was always easy for him. For a period during his childhood he began displaying negative and aggressive behavior toward other children. It almost forced him to be removed from the home where he had lived the entirety of his life.
He gives credit to his long time foster mother and father who worked with the system and fought to keep him in the family. In the end, they were successful, which meant so much to Brandon to be able to remain with the foster siblings he grew up with. “I owe my family a lot of gratitude. I am very humbled.”
As an adult now, he thinks back on his childhood growing up in the City of Carson. Besides the joy of hanging out in the park or playing basketball in front of his house, he remembers the challenges of school, doing homework, and reading. Brandon recalls how he had not always applied himself academically, and at times that got him into trouble—although he says that slowly changed. “I learned at a certain point that there was more to life than being a class clown.”
If school was a challenge his adoptive family seemed to be his solace. “There is no reason to put the whole foster label on them. If you’re with a family from being a baby, to a teenager, to an adult--that’s considered your family.”
His father had a particularly strong influence on his life, and Brandon’s success at maintaining gainful employment during his adulthood can be directly tied to this strong bond. Currently Brandon is a custodian at the Harbor Regional Center. He has held this job for the last 7 years. Brandon remembers the moment when he was 17 and his dad finally told him it was time to get a job. ”He’s like: I’m going to throw you out there, but I know you can do it.”
His dad always made sure to give him guidance prior to asking Brandon to take on new challenges. “He told me step by step, song by song, what to do in life. My dad is no longer with us, because he’s deceased, but he would want me to now achieve my greatness, catch it, go after it.”
Brandon is eternally positive. It’s contagious to be around. He wears a big smile on his face every time you see him. “Living on my own now, I’m excited about conquering the world. Everybody says, the world is a mean place, and it will knock you down, and it will keep you there if you let it. But I’m headstrong, I know what I want. I see where I’m going, and I have what it takes to make ends meet. I’m going to strive for what I want and just make everything happen. I follow a simple rule, ‘Plan your work, work your plan.’ That’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
He knows that living on his own comes with a lot of new responsibilities. “You have to be an adult first,” he says. “You have to put off buying a brand new pair of expensive Jordans [shoes]. Me, I opt for the cheaper Converse Chucks. Sometimes you just need to wait till your next paycheck to buy things you want, because bills have to come first.”
For now he is enjoying settling into his new home. All of his belongings have finally been moved in, and he is in the process of ordering a dresser and a bed frame. He proudly shows off his TV that was just set up in his bedroom. His clothes are hung neatly in the closet.
For Brandon, his life plan is coming together. He enjoys hanging out with friends and relatives. He is working full time and is now living on his own. He even glows with excitement when he talks about the future and starting to get more involved with his passion of wrestling.
It has been a long road for Brandon, but he is confident he’s on the right path. “For the people that have been there for me along the way, I just have to say thank you.”
This is a story of HOPE. We strive to empower our residents to achieve independence and follow their dreams. In Brandon we see the realization of that mission.
If you would like to sponsor an item for Brandon or other HOPE residents that will help turn their houses into homes, please consider making a contribution through our HOPE HELPS Gift Catalog.
There was something special about HOPE’s 9th Annual Charity Golf & Tennis Classic. From the start, the cool coastal air and frenetic energy of its players set a positive tone for the day’s festivities that raised more than $175K to provide additional affordable, stable homes for people with developmental disabilities. This goal could not have been accomplished without our sponsors, participants, and volunteers. Special recognition is in order for California Mentor who contributed to the event at the highest $15,000 - Titanium Level, and who continue to be an essential partner in our mission.
The theme of this year’s event was Creating Independence. Funds raised at the tournament will go directly to providing housing that empowers those who are most vulnerable in our society to become valuable, contributing members of their communities. HOPE believes that housing is foundational in life. When our residents are no longer forced to worry about where they will live and sleep, their energies and savings are freed up to focus on other essential aspects of their lives, like work, school, volunteering, or fostering relationships.
Months of planning culminated in the day’s three pronged event that was once again emceed by ABC7’s Rob Fukuzaki. The tournament hosted golfers, tennis players and dinner guests from the greater Los Angeles region. Rob, having supported the HOPE tournament for the previous 8 years, was quick to point out why this event is so important. “We are all here today to help HOPE Create Independence in the lives of people with developmental disabilities,” he said. “What could be more important than that?”
After registration, attendees mingled with colleagues and chatted with players they had not seen since the previous year’s tournament. The locations of both competitions were at two of Palos Verdes Peninsula’s high-end sports venues—Peninsula Racquet Club and Ocean Trails at Trump National. Sweeping Pacific Ocean views accompanied players throughout the afternoon and into the evening’s dinner that was held at Vista Terrace, a beautiful Mediterranean Chateau style ballroom. “This is such a beautiful venue,” said Mike Bush of Brown & Brown of California. “It really is a classy setting for this event that just keeps getting better each year.”
During the day, both tournaments saw stiff completion. Kelly Evans grabbed the top prize in tennis by a three point margin, and perennial golf tournament contenders from Integrated Life (CJ Nelson, Phillip Avila, John Betham, and Joseph De Leon) held a decisive seven stroke lead to end the last round of golf.
As the sun began to set and the afternoon’s competition came to a conclusion, the mood of participants was enthusiastic as they entered the Vista Terrace for the evening’s activities. “This event is always so well organized,” said Chris Hoffe, a golfer from So Cal Office Technologies who has participated in the past few tournaments. “I can’t wait for next year!”
Board President, Bob Irlen, opened the award ceremony and tournament dinner by reminding those in attendance about the importance of the day. “Nonprofits receive only so much support from the government for housing, and that’s why we need you—it is imperative that the private sector and individuals who care about our cause get involved to help in building the affordable housing we need. And the need is great. That’s why our annual Tournament plays such an important role in sustaining our mission.”
Later in the ceremony our guest speaker and HOPE resident, Deaka McClain, shared her story with attendees about the challenges she faced as a young woman with cerebral palsy struggling to find permanent, affordable housing while attempting to also pursue her education. Deaka’s speech emphasized that because of HOPE, and the stability that comes along with her new home, she was not only able to obtain her bachelor’s degree, but also a master’s degree in public policy and administration. She now plans to use her education to pursue a career in public service. The room was left inspired, and her words led to a standing ovation by the moved audience.
Another notable highlight from the evening was HOPE Executive Director, Kristin Marin, honoring two longtime advocates and tournament volunteers, Mercedes Lowery and Colleen Mock. During their time as Harbor Regional Center employees, they have given steadfast support to our cause, and their work has been integral in the organization’s expansive growth during the last 20 years. To thank them for their commitment to our mission, HOPE named two of its newest College to Career housing sites the Mercedes Lowery Hall and Colleen Mock Hall. This was a fitting tribute for such generous benefactors.
As the evening concluded, HOPE staff felt the warm glow of its mission being boosted by the goodwill and charitable spirit of its community. HOPE does not walk alone, but is part of a larger initiative to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are given the opportunities to experience independence and enjoy full, meaningful, and contributing lives.