HOPE graduate, Harvey Pauls, at work.
HOPE was founded in 1984, under the visionary leadership of Deborah Antoine MacFarlane and her colleagues at Columbia University. At the time, most programs for the homeless provided emergency assistance only. HOPE was different: rather than offering a handout, HOPE provided a hand-up by equipping participants with the skills they needed to find, keep, and advance in jobs. Since its founding, HOPE has thrived under the passionate leadership of Deborah Cutler, Barbara Edwards Delsman, and now Jennifer Mitchell, all of whom share a commitment to empowering the men and women who walk through HOPE's doors to build their own brighter futures.
Over the years, HOPE has studied its clients’ profiles and employment barriers and has used its findings to create an effective program that addresses all the social, familial, and psychological causes of their unemployment and homelessness. HOPE is unique in that it has both a direct services and a research component, which enables it to continuously evaluate its services and adjust its model to meet the changing needs of its clients.
HOPE has helped thousands of New Yorkers enter and succeed in the workforce. Our job placement and one-year retention rates are among the best in the nation. Despite histories of homelessness, substance abuse, incarceration, and domestic violence, most who enter our doors find, keep, and advance in their jobs.