HOPE’s 32nd Annual Convention

It was powerful and inspiring to have over 400 leaders from across Hillsborough County unite virtually on Zoom for HOPE’s 32nd Annual Convention. We know the past seven months have been overwhelming and stressful for many, so we continue to be encouraged by all who show up to transform our community.

Over the past couple months, leaders from our member congregations have held small group gatherings where people share what worries or concerns they have about the community – what struggles they or loved ones are facing. We had 56 small group meetings with over 450 participating and sharing their experiences.

We heard stories of people struggling to get adequate addiction treatment because insurance only covers 28 days; of people struggling to care for family members with severe mental illness; of people struggling to take care of their parents with dementia; of people worrying about their job and financial security, of their health and the health of their family, people having to walk 2 miles home from the bus stop, just to highlight a few. Thank you to the four leaders who shared their personal testimonies with us at the Convention.

Missed the Convention?

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We are excited to begin work in the area of....

Mental Health and Addiction

At our Convention, leaders voted to choose one new problem area to tackle. They cast their vote among common themes surfaced during our listening meetings: Mental Health & Addiction, Jobs & Finances, Health, Elder Care, and Education. Over 60% of the votes when to Mental Health & Addiction, so we are excited to announce this is the area HOPE will be working on next!

In addition to selecting a new problem area to work on, we engaged decision makers around our Affordable Housing and Criminal Justice work.

Commissioners Overman and Smith committed to protect the Affordable Housing Fund and work to use more of the fund to serve the very low income; and Commissioners Kemp and Murman and candidates Levinson, Cruz, and Cohen committed the same if elected or reelected.

State Attorney Warren committed to continue to work with us to reduce youth arrests and we heard an update from Police Chief Dugan on how he has trained all of his officers in Crisis Intervention Training since our 2019 Nehemiah Action.

We also recognized individal and corporate investors and were excited to have Jack Berlin of Accusoft, Paula Rhodes of Invictus, Angela Hatcher of Blue Sky Communities, Jason Rinard of Kempton Rinard, and Brian Moore of GHD join us.

It was a powerful night, and we appreciate the HOPE Board, Clergy, and Justice Ministry Team Members who helped make it happen.

In Hillsborough County, we have HOPE for Justice!