House of Hope Offers a Home and Second Chance to Former Addicts Struggling with Homelessness
At a time when homeless rates in Louisville are on the rise and the opioid crisis rages on, one West Louisville nonprofit offers a solution and a second chance for those affected by both issues. House of Hope Kentucky aims to transform the lives of homeless women in recovery from substance abuse by providing transitional housing and offering a compassionate system of support to guide them to independence and self-sufficiency.
First established in 2007, House of Hope’s mission grew out of the personal experiences of its founder, Tangy Hunter-Hughes. Hunter-Hughes experienced her own uphill battle with addiction – one that would forever alter the trajectory of her life and career. Upon achieving sobriety, Hunter-Hughes felt compelled to use her experience to help others. She left her job and founded House of Hope Kentucky, aiming to assist those affected by the devastation of addiction, as well as homelessness, by prioritizing lifestyle transformation and above all, compassion.
“Compassion is at the heart of everything we do at House of Hope,” said Hunter-Hughes. “We invest in the entire woman because our ultimate goal is to restore and rebuild lives. Transitional housing offers these women a refuge, but our program itself aims to give them the resources, tools and hope to survive addiction and achieve responsibility and independence.”
Since its founding, the nonprofit has opened two additional campuses, Homes of Hope and Apartments of Hope, in addition to the original House of Hope. All three campuses offer housing for women who are in recovery and are making the transition from treatment to independence. House of Hope’s mission and program set it apart from other Louisville nonprofits dealing with homelessness or addiction. The focus for House of Hope participants is not finding temporary reprieve from nights on the streets or achieving sobriety but rather to assist a class of women who often go ignored: those who have completed recovery and exited treatment and have no idea of where to go or how to begin the process of rebuilding their lives. House of Hope is where the rebuilding process takes place.
Upon entering House of Hope, participants embark on a two-year program during which they live on campus and seek to create and complete a case management plan for getting their lives back on track, with personalized goals, including building their credit score, creating a savings account, finishing education, finding a job and more. House of Hope provides bi-weekly classes and connects participants with necessary resources in career building, social services, financial assistance, education and more in order to equip them with the tools and skills necessary to achieve their goals and rebuild their lives. As a result, participants graduate the program as responsible, strong, compassionate and self-sufficient members of the community.
House of Hope’s compassion and support aren’t limited to participants. The nonprofit hosts open courses and seminars on topics like credit management, career/resume building and interacting with law enforcement for the nearby neighborhoods. As a result, House of Hope has developed into a valued resource for the West Louisville community, offering compassion, support and guidance to an area on the cusp of revitalization.
Gheens Foundation Bestows $2 million Gift on University of Louisville
The University of Louisville recently announced that Gheens Foundation, Inc. has pledged $2 million in unrestricted funds to support the university’s mission.
The gift is the foundation’s second largest to the university. The largest was a $2.5 million grant in 2013 for health-related medical research.
Gheens has given more than $12 million to UofL over five decades, including funding for the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium and the Gheens Foundation Inc. Chair in Aging Research.
“We were so excited when we learned about this gift,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “Once again, the Gheens Foundation has stepped up to support the University of Louisville. Now it is up to us to use this funding in ways that clearly will benefit our students and the community.”
Bendapudi said $500,000 will be directed toward enhancing safety and security staffing and technology on the Belknap and Health Sciences campuses. The remaining $1.5 million will fund strategic initiatives identified through the university’s strategic planning process, which is currently underway.
“This is a perfect time to look at where and how we should invest these funds,” she said. “The only thing we know for sure is that this gift will be used to ensure that UofL is a great place to learn, to work and in which to invest.”
Gheens President Barry Allen said, “I am confident that our founders, Edwin and Mary Jo Gheens, would be most pleased with the trustees’ decision to make this grant. It recognizes the vital importance of the university’s mission and is an affirmation of Dr. Bendapudi’s fresh and strengthening leadership.”
Since Bendapudi assumed the UofL helm, major gifts include $5 million from the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, $2.5 million from retired Churchill Downs Inc. Chairperson Carl F. Pollard and a substantial gift from Republic Bank Foundation and the Trager Family Foundation in support of optimal aging research.