15 Mar Mission Minute: 40 Years of Hope
by Kathe Rae, Manager of Mission Integration
March 13th was our highly anticipated 40th Anniversary and what a fabulous party we had! So many people attended with both longtime and more recent connections to New Hope. Be sure to check out the highlights. While the celebrations will continue throughout the year, this month is especially fitting for reflecting on HOPE, which is so much more than just a part of our name.
From the very beginning, New Hope has offered HOPE to families of persons with developmental disabilities. Some families, concerned for the future, wanted a place which was safe, long-term, offered activities and socialization, provided healthcare, and was well staffed. Others sought the array of rehabilitation services such as O.T., P.T., Recreational Therapy, etc. to increase independence for family members. For those families and their loved ones, they took a leap of faith in New Hope, HOPING they made the right decision with placement at this new and very different residential facility.
Over the years, when the individuals started moving out into group homes and supported living homes as the facility was downsizing to be closed, it was, for some, a scary time. Many families worried about the unknown of community living, without the residential “cocoon” of all-inclusive services. Providing HOPE and assurance was essential during that transition to ease fears, while promoting the positives of increased independence and choices of the home environments. Also, even during the ongoing financial struggles, including costly governmental mandates and significant reimbursement cuts, our compassionate and visionary leadership provided much needed HOPE that those challenges would indeed be overcome and the New Hope mission would survive, which it certainly has!
That HOPE still shines today throughout New Hope: the HOPE of families seeking therapy services for their children; opportunities for developmental growth and fun through recreational and music therapy; the HOPE of finding jobs which fit the skills and desires of persons wanting to work; HOPE for reunification of families with their children with assistance from the Home-Based Counseling Program. And there is still that same HOPE for families and individual through living arrangements which are safe and supportive, whether a NHI site, a rental or in the family home. This 40 year legacy of HOPE will carry New Hope well into a bright and exciting future. HOPE springs eternal!