What We Do
65% of the people we support were institutionalized for an average of 17 years before coming to Hope House. Institutional care can cost up to ten times more than serving adults with developmental disabilities in their own homes.
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Hope House Foundation provides individualized supported living services for and with adults with developmental disabilities in their own homes or apartments. Currently, we serve more than 130 people living in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Hope House is known as an innovator and leader in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 2008, Hope House Foundation received the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) national award for full community inclusion.
Much of Hope House’s renown can be attributed to its Executive Director, Lynne Seagle. Lynne is a sought-after consultant both nationally and internationally. And in 1999, she was awarded a Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation Leadership Award for her work on behalf of people with disabilities. Previous recipients of this award have included B.F. Skinner and Mother Teresa.
What are developmental disabilities?
Developmental disabilities encompass a wide range of diagnoses, including Down Syndrome, autism, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Developmental disabilities are also referred to as cognitive disabilities and intellectual disabilities.
In addition to developmental disabilities, many of the people we support face other challenges, including cerebral palsy, hearing or visual impairment, heart conditions, asthma, and psychiatric disorders.
What kind of support do you provide?
It varies according to the needs of the individual. Some people require more support than others. But generally, our services include assistance with household maintenance, budgeting, cooking, transportation, medical issues, personal care and hygiene, and recreation. And everything we do is designed to help the people we support live their lives as fully and independently as possible.
Isn’t serving people in their own homes more expensive than group homes?
Yes, living alone or with another person is more expensive than living with eight or ten people. But most people don’t want to live with that many people – including the people we support. So we fundraise to cover the difference, which allows people the opportunity to live in a more normal setting. And we believe that’s the right way to provide services.
Of course, that’s not how we started out. In fact, when the move to get people with developmental disabilities out of institutions and into the community began in the Sixties, group homes seemed like the logical next step. And in many ways, it was.
But since then, the attitude toward people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has slowly changed from one of solicitude and pity, to one that recognizes the right of all people to lead their own lives, with independence and dignity. And that starts with living in one’s own home or apartment, or choosing the people with whom one wants to live.
How is Hope House funded?
Hope House is a non-profit organization. We receive our funding primarily from Medicaid waivers, the Comprehensive Services Act, community services boards, and in some cases, private payment. It’s important to know, however, that Virginia ranks 45 out of the 50 states in community-based funding for people with disabilities – despite having the 7th highest median household income in the country.
That’s why we actively raise funds for Hope House, in order to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the best way possible.
In addition to our fundraising events, the Hampton Roads community provides strong support through grants and donations. Many businesses donate gift certificates, goods, or admission tickets for entertainment.
If you or your business would like to make a donation or grant to help the people supported by Hope House, please click here.