Southern Indiana organization covers 20 counties and helps people of all ages and backgrounds
By Lisa Hornung
Decades ago, a group of parents who were frustrated that their children with developmental and intellectual disabilities weren’t being taught in public schools started New Hope Services. The parents wanted their children to learn all they could, so they banded together to help each other as well as other parents of disabled children.
Now, New Hope, a human services agency that has been around for 60 years, is all over Southern Indiana – covering 20 counties – and it’s one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the area. But it’s no longer only focused on disabled children and adults. The charity also helps young families and seniors with family planning, parenting skills and affordable housing.
The agency has many long-term employees who stay because of the love they have for their work.
“We’re mission-driven here, said Senior Vice President Bonnie Long, who has worked at New Hope for 38 years. “I like being part of something bigger. It makes you feel like you’re giving of yourself and giving to others.”
Executive assistant Kim Tungate agreed: “What keeps me here is our mission and what we do, so family oriented. We’re like a big family.”
The latest program to be added is the apartment communities. Adults 55 and older can live in affordable income-restricted apartments owned by New Hope in several locations. In Brazil, Indiana, New Hope undertook an adaptive reuse project and turned two blighted buildings into apartments for seniors. The junior high school and the Davis building were historic properties but are now nice places for older adults to live in and called Davis Zeller. Several other projects, such as M. Fine on Spring in Jeffersonville and The Lofts at Leeson’s in Elwood, continue the ongoing project. Once the mortgages are paid, the rental income goes to support other New Hope initiatives.
The largest division in number of people served, is Family Services. Family Services offer help that includes the Women Infant Children (WIC) nutrition program, promoting breast feeding, help with family stability and more. New Hope operates the HopeCare Clinic, which provides basic medical services, such as breast exams, pap smears, birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
The clinic serves women and children from prenatal care up to 5 years old. It’s a walk-in clinic, but it does accept appointments. Services are low- to no-cost, and insurance and Medicaid are accepted.
The Adult Services arm of the organization incorporates New Hope’s original mission, that of helping those with disabilities succeed in life. Adult Services includes residential living for those with severe disabilities, as well as employment services.
The Adult Community Empowerment Program (ACES) facilitates activities to help adults socialize and engage in their communities. “After 40 years of nursing, this job provides me an opportunity to earn money and be useful after retirement in a fun and creative way,” said Andrea Hannah, lead at ACES.
Those in the Adult Services programs can get jobs either out in the community or at New Hope Industries. Local companies contract with New Hope to do things such as collating, labeling, small hand assembly, and a wide array of piece work assignments. Other examples of capabilities include shrink wrap operations, poly bagging and packaging. One of the biggest employers is Walmart. Walmart brings a semi-truck daily full of used cardboard boxes. Employees unload the boxes and sort them for reuse or recycle. If the boxes can be reused, workers add stickers over the bar codes and stack them to go back to Walmart to be used again. Those who are employed work together and take their breaks together, providing not only an income but socialization, too.
Over the past 60 years, New Hope has grown and expanded, and will continue to do so. Tammy Mathis, a direct support professional for 13 years, highlighted one of the reasons: “My thing is my love for the clients, even on their bad days.”
New Hope Services
725 Wall St. In Jeffersonville