I have been lead organizer for a Howard County, MD anti-human trafficking volunteer group for several years. During this time, HopeWorks has proven to be a model program for serving victims of gender-based violence and has provided emergency shelter to women who have been sex trafficked and referred to them by local law enforcement. Last March, in response to our county's increasing numbers of sex-trafficked victims, HopeWorks hired its first full-time Human Trafficking Coordinator. This person has trained HW staff to better respond to the unique needs of HT survivors, beginning with the first interview that now allows staff to more easily identify these women who many times do not self-identify as victims; they are expanding residential housing, provisioning 10 survivors in 7 months this year compared to 6 in the past 2 years; and in general are using new strategies to respond to the unique and intense needs of these clients. In addition, HopeWorks is working in the community, educating the public about human trafficking and training specialized groups such as medical personnel and are coordinating with local, regional, and state-level anti-trafficking groups. Howard County AGAST members(Advocacy Group Against Slavery & Trafficking) are so very grateful for HopeWorks' commitment to serving survivors of human trafficking.
It’s an honor to serve on the Board of HopeWorks. The HopeWorks team is committed to serving the Howard County, MD area, through the tireless work and support of a great staff, committed to helping people affected by intimate partner and sexual violence. Keep up the great work!
I attended an in-home domestic and sexual violence seminar intended to dispel myths and educate the community about these topics and HopeWorks in general. The seminar was very informative and the organization does amazing work helping victims through both prevention and intervention. All of the staff and volunteers are engaged and dedicated to helping the community.
I attended an in-home training on domestic violence and sexual abuse. The meeting was informative and the setting was very comfortable in a location with people that I knew. The representative from Hopeworks was extremely knowledgeable and professional in her approach to training the group.
Hopeworks offered an in-home training about domestic violence and sexual abuse. It was informative meeting, but also extremely comfortable having it in the home of someone we knew. This is a great way to get their message across and the facilitator was well informed and professional.
I’ve heard about the invaluable services by HopeWorks for many years and am very honored to have the opportunity to serve on the board this year. Being on the board offers me a unique perspective on the organization’s day-to-day operations in serving some of the most vulnerable populations in our society and a chance to get to know the forward-thinking and dedicated leadership team and staff. I support the mission of HopeWorks and look forward to contributing to the wellbeing of my fellow citizens in Howard County.
HopeWorks is an exceptional organization in our community. The staff is committed, well-trained, compassionate and passionate. The organization has developed a strategic plan that guides the leadership and staff in (1) providing comprehensive and compassionate services to people experiencing sexual and intimate partner violence; (2) developing a community organizing approach which engages our community in working toward the prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence; and (3) sustaining our efforts, through continued stewardship of funds and by ensuring the vitality of HopeWorks through recruitment and retention of talented Board, staff and volunteers!
I support HopeWorks because it offers wide-ranging programs that address the issues of intimate partner violence. I am very impressed with the workshops, volunteer opportunities for young people, outreach programs and two safe houses. I'm so pleased that my community provides such stand-out service.
HopeWorks first came to my attention through a workshop on surviving emotional abuse. I was positively impressed with the program, the people involved, and the high quality of the organization itself. The place seemed defined by a deep caring attitude and real professionalism. I knew right away that HopeWorks of Howard County was a place in which I would find a supportive community of healing and also a place where I could contribute to the health and well-being of others. That has more than proven to be the case. HopeWorks provides a warm, welcoming, and healing environment. I also volunteer in a number of capacities and look forward to continuing opportunities to utilize my own professional skills.
What I find most inspiring about HopeWorks of Howard County is their belief that violence is not inevitable. Through an amazing educational prevention program, they work tirelessly to teach communities about the root causes of violence and what factors leave people vulnerable to abuse. If we can understand the root causes, we can take simple steps that will transform our culture of violence to one of love, health, and kindness.
They are made up of some incredibly giving people. I wanted to host a workshop in my home, which is something that had never been done before. Brittany took time out of her very busy schedule to meet with me to plan the event, custom design an agenda, and put all of the materials together. She then came to my home and compassionately lead me, my family, and friends in a thoughtful discussion about domestic and sexual abuse. She made it easy for people to ask questions and consequently to learn. We all left feeling empowered to make simple changes that contribute to a ripple effect of good in the world.
Intervention services are also available to about 1500 clients annually. These include but are not limited to a 24-hour helpline, counseling, food pantry resources, transitional living assistance, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and abuser intervention programs.
I am so happy that I joined the HopeWorks volunteer network. I finally feel like I am an active part of the solution and have the power to positively impact my community!
HopeWorks is a highly, dedicated agency that is very visual in the community. Their outreach is by far the most engaging with its community members, student populations, and survivors. The agency is very dedicated to prevention of IPV, and that is our greatest asset in supporting those who are vulnerable to IPV. In addition, HopeWorks is also dedicated to social change and educating the community about the roots of violence and what the agency and volunteers can do to support their efforts at a grassroots level. I am very greatful and thankful that HopeWorks in working in the Howard County community and being wherever they need to be to affect social change in our society.
I volunteer for HopeWorks throughout the organization. Whether I'm in my role as a Legal Advocate, Clinical childcare provider, Community Engagement representative, or planning and providing Residential clients and their families special events and activities, I consistently see the dedication and compassion of the entire staff. Each has their specialty or area of focus, but they all work as a team to ensure their clients' varying needs are met. This is most evident when there's a crisis. They respond with an "all hands on deck" attitude. It's amazing to witness. It's not only what they do for a client, it's how they do it. They're kind, gentle, empathetic and compassionate.
Whether it's the Legal, Clinical, Residential, Advocacy, Community Engagement or New Behaviors Department, each individual is knowledgeable and professional is their chosen field.
From the front door to the top of the organization, everyone is dedicated to the same purpose. They're always looking to the future to see how they can better sever their clients. Their latest of which is the growing number of human trafficing victims. I believe this organization is a leader in their field of providing services to victims of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Top-notch all around.
I was sexually abused as a child, in college and again in my first marriage. I thought after years if therapy that I was fine. Fortunately for me, I became a volunteer for HopeWorks and had my heart opened. I volunteered in a variety of positions and the personnel at HopeWorks showed me what real love and caring is about. Not only that, I learned so much about domestic and sexual violence. I learned forgiveness; I learned awareness; I learned a whole new world. And as a bonus, my then college-aged daughter was able to intern at HopeWorks. A great experience.
This organization provides invaluable services to the residents of Howard County and is extremely well-managed. Everyone in this organization -- from staff to the Board -- is deeply committed to the men and women it serves and to finding ways to successfully respond to, and prevent, intimate partner violence.
In 1999, I with my 3-year-old daughter moved to Maryland from California. This was because my then husband/ her father decided that he did not want to have anything to do with us anymore. I think the date was December 3rd, 1999. He dropped us off at the airport, not turning back to look at me or his daughter.
When we came to Maryland all my daughter and I had was the suitcases we brought with us. A friend agreed to let us live with them for a short while. I am forever grateful to them for providing us with a safe roof and food while we found our footing here. We started a new life – from scratch. I first bought a computer so that I could research what bank to use and where to buy a car. After that, I looked for a house for us and a school for my daughter. I was also looking for a job, any job that would give us some income. I feared every second of the day, that my ex-husband would show up at the door to take my daughter away. I could trust no one. He had made many promises in our divorce decree, I knew that any day he could change his mind on the agreements. And in a few months’ time, that is exactly what he did. He cut our child support, fired the mediator, he visited our daughter as and when he wanted. It was as if our divorce agreement did not exist. He knew he could get away with this because he knew that we did not have the money or support to get any legal help.
Would I have appreciated some help or guidance at this time of our life? Someone to give me legal advice? Someone to hold my hand and tell me all will be well? I was always scared and thinking what would happen to my 3-year-old daughter if I happen to get ill or something. I could not always ask that nice family to help us. I felt, like I was taking advantage of them because they did not ask for or deserve to deal with our issues, I am sure they had enough of their own problems. From being in a situation where I was told what to do, overnight, I was in a situation where I had to do the research and make decisions on my own. How does one decide what needed to be done and how to do it, was my first problem.
I am a survivor of intimate partner violence. I have been associated with Hope Works as a volunteer for at least 3 to 4 years. In these years I have helped with childcare, outreach and also helped with workshops. I have had a chance to interact with quite a few employees of Hope Works from various departments. Everyone who works in this organization from the Receptionist to the Director, is passionate about helping women who have experienced sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence. Hope Works does not only help with therapy, temporary shelter, advocacy and the like, they also have workshops on self-care, mindfulness, leadership, writing, etc. I have also participated in workshops where we made arts or crafts. I love the memory box I made one such Saturday afternoon. I have also gone to a wonderful farm that rescues horses. Many different self-development activities are provided for us women. The Therapists here do not just stop at providing talk therapy. I have met a very sweet little dog who visits the Hope Works office to provide therapy. This just tells me that there are people at Hope Works who believe in us and are giving us opportunities to find ourselves.
Hope Works does not just take care of the abused, they provide therapy to the abusers as well. To me, this says that they try to help every aspect of the abusive situation – the abused and the abuser.
Not only this, through Holiday drives, Hope Works also makes sure that each client and their family have a gift and a good meal during the holidays. The pantry here is always stocked with necessities for the whole family. They even help the clients when they are ready to leave the shelter to move into their own home and start a new life.
I do not know of any other organization that does so much with such a healthy attitude to help such a sad cause. I would have been more than grateful and thankfully crying, if I had even a fraction of this help that Hope Works provides to women/ families like me. The work done here, saves so many lives, helping them find the path of their life. It is very significant.
I didn’t know HopeWorks existed until I needed them. I received a brochure while at the police station. I hadn’t intended to have him arrested, but after completing the Lethality Assessment, it was beyond my control. My then husband was arrested on second degree assault charges with a deadly weapon and admitted to a mental health facility. Both the police and staff of the mental health facility encourage me to get a Protective Order. First thing Monday morning, I was calling HopeWorks, within a half-hour I was in the office telling my story to one of the Advocacy Staff Members. She was calm, caring, and patient. After conferring with the Legal Department, she provided me with the forms I needed, instructions on what to do and where to go. She instructed me to talk to the HopeWorks Legal Advocate at the Courthouse. I’d never been in court, so having the Advocate to talk to before going before the judge was extremely helpful. I had my temporary protective order that afternoon. Within a few days, I was back in the office for a Legal Intake Interview. Again, the Legal Intern I spoke with was caring and compassionate. I really didn’t expect them to take on my case because of my financial situation – but they did. This was the beginning of a long year’s journey. The Legal Department is top notch. They were with me at every court hearing. If they weren’t representing me in Protective Order matters, they were accompanying me to the criminal court hearings. They were extremely supportive as I read my Victim Impact Statement in Circuit Court. They patiently answered all my questions, I had many. I consider myself fortunate in that I had family and friends surround me, taking me in for weeks at a time and on short notice. I didn’t need to use HopeWorks’ SafeHouse, but they always offered and assured me I would be safe. I’d receive periodic calls from their Advocacy Department, checking in with me to see if I needed any other services and making sure I was OK. I was able to attend counseling with one of their clinicians. Not surprising, she was compassionate, professional and genuine. HopeWorks is an exceptionally well-run organization filled with truly dedicated professionals – from the front desk, throughout the many departments, to the Executive Staff. I would not have been able to get through that year without them. They gave me the courage and resilience to take my life back.