Who We Serve
Hope House Foundation supports adults with a primary diagnosis of a developmental or intellectual disability, including Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and more.
Many of the people we support also have physical conditions such as cerebral palsy, hearing or visual impairment, and diabetes. Often, these conditions require the use of wheelchairs, adaptive equipment, and assistive technology.
In addition, many have emotional issues such as depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
And as people with disabilities get older, they’re subject to the same age-related difficulties that plague the rest of the population, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.
It can be daunting. But at Hope House, we’re up for the challenge. More important, we're in it for the long haul. So once we start supporting someone, we will continue to do so.
Even if their behaviors are suddenly out of control. Even if they receive a challenging medical diagnosis. Even if they now require more care than they have in the past. Even if a parent or guardian passes away. No matter what, we can almost always find a way to work things out.
While some of the people we support just need occasional help with shopping or budgeting, others may require support around the clock. And still others are somewhere in the middle. That’s why at Hope House, we adapt our services to the individual – not the other way around.
Click here to meet a few of the people we support, and learn how we’ve modified our services (and in some instances, living spaces) to accommodate a wide range of needs in the safest, most supportive environment there is: One’s own home.
Teams are comprised of a Team Leader, Services Coordinator, Community Support Coordinator, several full-time Support Assistants, and a number of part-time Support Staff. All teams have an overnight staff member (in some cases, two) who remains awake throughout the night to provide specialized support to those who need it, and general support to others when necessary. Which means that your family member will get the help they need when they need it — and the privacy they want when they don't.
We encourage you to share as much information about your family member as possible, so that we can tailor our services accordingly. When you have questions or concerns, we suggest you speak to the Team Leader first, so he or she can pass them on to the rest of the team. Additionally, please let us know what information you would like us to provide you on a regular basis, as well anything you might want to be notified of immediately, such as illness, injury, or financial issues.
As a parent or family member, your concern for safety is paramount. Rest assured that we feel the same. Our staff works with each individual to ensure day-to-day safety both in the home and out in the community. That can include learning to understand traffic devices and signals, requesting assistance from the right people, and practicing caution around strangers and in unfamiliar locations.
We encourage the people we support to take care of themselves through regular exercise and routine physical exams. Additionally, we help people understand their bodies, respond to its needs, and seek appropriate assistance when needed. We also strive to help people understand the medications they take, their dosages, and their potential effects, both positive and negative.
Staff provides guidance in wearing seasonally appropriate clothing that is in good repair, without impeding the individual's personal sense of style. We also help people learn to do laundry and use laundry supplies appropriately. We encourage people to maintain their personal hygiene and provide assistance when needed. Additionally, we provide reminders and assistance with less-frequent personal care tasks, such as trimming nails or scheduling a haircut.
Grocery shopping provides a number of learning opportunities, including making healthy choices, budgeting, handling money, safety in the community, and completing a transaction. Grocery shopping is typically done weekly, although some folks may shop more or less often based on individual needs or preferences. Staff members provide the necessary guidance to plan, shop for, and prepare meals. When helping the people we support plan their menus, we balance personal taste with dietary restrictions and the usual components of a healthy diet. Grocery lists are prepared from the menu plan, and appropriate quantities of food to buy are determined based on the person's shopping schedule.
Staff assists people with scheduling meals, using kitchen tools and appliances safely and correctly, and presenting a well-balanced meal attractively. In addition, we teach the people we support to observe food-handling safety rules regarding temperature, storage, cleanliness, and disposal of food. We also provide coaching in dining etiquette, such as the proper use of utensils, serving and being served, and using napkins. When dining out, we assist people in learning to place meal orders, seek assistance from wait staff, and leave an appropriate tip.
We encourage the people we support to take pride in their homes, and to create a space that reflects their preferences and personalities. We help people develop and maintain a cleaning schedule, as well as to identify when needs arise outside of that schedule, such as minor repairs or occasional deep-cleaning.
We believe that communities are enhanced when everyone within them is fully included. That's why a large part of what we do at Hope House is to help the people we support participate safely in their communities.
On the most basic level, we teach people to recognize their own name, telephone number, and address in print, as well as how and when to ask for assistance. We also help people learn and follow local rules and laws, along with those unspoken social laws that can sometimes bewilder us all.
We help the people we support to recognize their own boundaries and those of others, and understand how to respond when those boundaries have been crossed. In addition, we teach people to speak up for their own rights.
That includes registering people to vote and encouraging them to be involved in the political process — from learning about state budgets, to speaking on behalf of people with disabilities in front of the Virginia General Assembly.
We also help people we support to plan and pursue leisure activities, including hobbies, sports, concerts, vacations, or just getting together with a friend.
Like everyone else, the people we support are enriched by having a variety of people in their lives – and not just staff and family. Hope House has supported people through marriages and friendships that often endure throughout a lifetime, while understanding the responsibilities and consequences that may arise from these relationships.
We support people grieving the loss of a spouse, friend, or family member, whether that loss is due to divorce, death, or relocation.
In certain situations, we connect people with licensed counselors and support groups to help develop a greater sense of self, personal safety, and choice in their relationships.
A number of people we serve have an appointed guardian. Usually it is a family member, but occasionally, an agency may serve as a guardian. This most often occurs when someone is medically fragile and has no one else to serve as a guardian. Service providers, including Hope House, and Community Services Boards are prohibited from acting as guardians due to potential conflicts of interest.
A guardian's role is described in Virginia Code, Section 37.2-1020, Part E., wherein it states, "A guardian shall, to the extent feasible, encourage the incapacitated person to participate in decisions, to act on his own behalf, and to develop or regain the capacity to manage personal affairs. A guardian, in making decisions, shall consider the expressed desires and personal values of the incapacitated person to the extent known and shall otherwise act in the incapacitated person's best interest and exercise reasonable care, diligence, and prudence."
Guardians who are considering Hope House as a service provider should know that that Hope House is bound by state licensure regulations, as well as regulations related to funding. Hope House must provide supports within those guidelines.
Hope House does not develop service plans that incorporate "time-outs", consequences that deny preferred activities, remove privileges, or otherwise create negative consequences for behavior. We believe all behavior is communication and that people learn best from positive reinforcement for desired behavior. We try to understand what triggers negative behavior, and then assist people in learning alternative methods of communication.
Angela Stevens, our Behavioral Support Specialist, is available to staff and the people we support for consultation on an as-needed basis.
While the majority of the people we support live in their own one or two-bedroom apartments, we also support some people who've chosen to live with a roommate.
Typically, roommates share housing and utility expenses. How groceries are purchased depends on varying dietary needs or food preferences. Ideally, two roommates work together to create a weekly menu, and share the costs equally. The cost of condiments, paper and plastics, cleaning supplies, and so on, are also shared. Staff will assist roommates in negotiating household chores and agreeing on rules of conduct regarding TV usage, music, visitors, etcetera.
Having a roommate can often decrease loneliness. It also helps people build skills in getting along with others while simultaneously learning to advocate for themselves.
The majority of the people we support receive less than $750 a month in benefits, which makes strict budgeting essential. Staff works with each individual to create a monthly budget they can stick to. Most of the people we support have checking accounts in their own names into which their monthly benefits are deposited directly. People pay their bills online with assistance from staff, and use cash, checks, or bank cards to make purchases when they're out and about.
People generally receive weekly spending money based on their individual budget. The team's Service Coordinator maintains an accounting of all income and expenses, along with supporting documents such as bills, statements, and receipts.
While most of the people we support are their own representative payee for monthly benefits, some have a family member, legal guardian, external agency, or Hope House serving as representative payee.
Because monthly disability benefits are so low, and expenses are so high, Hope House must raise additional funds and solicit donations of goods and services in order to make up the difference.
Our fundraising meets needs, such as dental care, clothing, furnishings, and recreation, none of which are covered by Medicaid. Our fundraising activities include the annual Stockley Gardens Arts Festivals, our musical concert events, and occasional capital campaigns. In addition, we operate a popular thrift shop that helps to fund services and subsidies.
Many local businesses host fundraising events that benefit Hope House. We are also a United Way recipient organization; however, we are only able to receive funds that are specifically designated for Hope House during their annual drive. Hope House's designated United Way number is 5070.
Finally, Hope House regularly applies for state, federal, foundation, and corporate grants to supplement our programs and capital needs.
We provide all records and any assistance needed to submit reports to Social Security and other organizations.
Because the people we support live in their own homes and have leases in their own names, they are eligible for a variety of other benefits such as food stamps, fuel assistance, and Section VIII housing vouchers. Hope House's Resource Coordinator helps people apply for and maintain these benefits, and is also available to help file yearly income taxes.