History and Experience Serving the Community
Founded in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, HOPE's mission is to create stable, affordable housing options for people with developmental disabilities. A development disability includes autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and intellectual disability. People diagnosed with one of these conditions in California receive services through the Regional Center system that is funded by the California Department of Developmental Services. There are 21 Regional Centers in the state that provide case management and support services to over a quarter of a million people.
HOPE, Inc. was established by the Harbor Regional Center (HRC) in Torrance in partnership with a group of concerned South Bay parents and friends. They believed that all persons, no matter the severity of their disability, had the right to be a part of the community and to live where and with whom they chose. HOPE was the result of HRC and these dedicated community volunteers realizing that our region was experiencing a severe affordable rental housing shortage that made finding a place to live in a decent, safe neighborhood very difficult. This acutely affected adults with special needs who were on fixed incomes or earning minimum wage in entry level positions.
They created an organization whose primary purpose would be to acquire and renovate homes allocated to serve adults with developmental disabilities. Since its inception, HOPE's goal has been to give people with developmental disabilities a chance to be successful on their own without having to pay the high cost of market rents. As a non-profit developer of affordable housing for persons with developmental disabilities, HOPE endeavors to provide stable, affordable homes for those most vulnerable in our communities.
In 1995, HOPE purchased its first two Independent Living properties in Bellflower and Lakewood with funding from the State of California Housing and Community Development (HCD). Since then HOPE has developed Independent Living locations that included single family homes, condominiums, and small multi-family properties throughout Los Angeles County. Residents of this housing pay rent that is no more than 30% of their income.
HOPE was able to facilitate accelerated growth in its Independent Living model through a variety of innovative funding concepts and lending programs. HOPE purchased properties through federal, state, county, and city housing programs, as well as private foundations and individual donors. HOPE is a certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO with the State of California and many local cities which qualifies HOPE for both acquisition and rehabilitation funding.
HOPE has partnered with the city of Industry, Bellflower, Norwalk, and Long Beach to create Independent Living housing.
24-Hour Residential Care
Decades ago when "Residential Service Providers" that managed and owed their own group homes would decide to terminate their agreement with the Regional Center system to continue to provide residential services, people with developmental disabilities residing in those homes were often at risk of losing their housing. To address this issue, the developmental disabilities system quickly made a shift in public policy that opted instead to invest in housing assets owned by non-profit housing agencies, like HOPE, whose sole purpose was to acquire, renovate, and preserve its housing for regional center clients. This change ensured that the real estate was purchased once and was permanently reserved to house people with developmental disabilities.
Since 2008 HOPE has engaged in developing permanent, supportive housing through our 24-Hour Residential Care homes. HOPE purchases single family properties and leases them to licensed service providers who provide the on-site support for individuals with increased medical and behavioral needs.
The majority of the individuals who reside in these homes previously lived at a State Developmental Center (SDC). HOPE expanded this model by partnering with four Regional Centers: Harbor, North Los Angeles County, Lanterman, and Westside. Early funding for these homes was received through Community Placement Plan (CPP) housing funds through the State of California, Department of Developmental Services.
College to Career
In 2010, HOPE began a partnership to provide housing for students in the College to Career (C2C) program that allows community college students with a developmental disability the opportunity to experience a college living experience close to campus. A variety of support services are available from Long Beach Community College and California MENTOR that meet the students’ academic and independent living needs. HOPE now owns multiple sites for the C2C program in Long Beach.