Member Spotlight: Foundation of HOPE

Unifying the voice of nonprofits to leverage their power

The mission of the Foundation of HOPE is to empower incarcerated and released individuals to restore their relationship with their God, rebuild their lives, and reconcile to their communities. Thanks to its long-term, committed partnership with the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ), HOPE successfully carries out its mission through a three-tiered continuum of care for jail inmates and ex-offenders that includes Chaplaincy; a Pre-Release Program; and an Aftercare Program.

The Foundation of HOPE was founded in 2002, growing out of the Jail Chaplaincy Program and was incorporated as its own 501(c)3 in 2006. The HOPE organization is governed by an experienced and dedicated Board of Directors and receives input from the Council of Christian Associates of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

With its unique position within the ACJ, HOPE provides a comprehensive continuum of care from incarceration through re-entry into the community. The Chaplaincy and Pre-Release Programs provide foundational care and preparation, while the Aftercare program assists ex-offenders with the implementation of skills acquired in the other programs. The combination of Chaplaincy, Pre-Release, and Aftercare – with mentoring at the core - creates a seamless delivery of services. HOPE serves high- and medium-risk convicted inmates regardless of their faith tradition.

The HOPE Pre-Release Program addresses individual accountability, interpersonal relationship skills, addiction recovery issues, and life and parenting skills. Inmates choose to apply to the program and live together in pods, agreeing to adhere to higher standards of conduct.

The program has the capacity to serve 90 male and 90 female inmates in two housing pods. In this structured and residential community, HOPE participants engage in over 120 hours of evidence-based curriculum, discussion, group work, and mentoring. Upon successful completion, inmates can remain in the pod and participate in supplemental graduate courses; those who demonstrate leadership qualities are selected as servant leaders who assist with program set-up and facilitation of small groups.

The Aftercare Program is a natural progression of the reintegration process for inmates who have completed the Pre-Release Program. HOPE's Aftercare Program is located on the North Side of Pittsburgh and provides ex-offenders with informational resources, referrals, and guidance regarding employment, mental health and addiction services, housing, education, food assistance, and clothing.