Categories: Employment, Charity & Giving | Issue: August 2019
I Make a Difference... "I am blessed to have had a job that I truly enjoy coming to do every day for over 34 years now. I have helped people obtain goals that others thought were impossible for them to obtain. You just can't put a price on that. I make a difference in people's lives that I work with but they have also had a huge impact on mine. I am a much better person being a part of their journey." Cheri Baker, Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional. Join Our Team at www.homeofhope.com.
Home of Hope was created in 1968, by two mothers of children with Down syndrome, at a time when adults with developmental disabilities were given little hope or support toward social interaction, a purposeful life, or any semblance of independence. Millions of men and women in the United States live with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every day, individuals struggle with impairment in functions most of us take for granted, and they often find themselves separated from involvement in a world that doesn’t know how to respond to their needs – a world that either doesn’t notice or chooses to ignore their presence. The history of society’s treatment of men and women with disabilities has been filled with personal tragedy, ranging from the damaging assumption that they are capable of so little, so they should be allowed to do little, to the unspoken fearfulness that has led to efforts to isolate or harm those who could not defend themselves. Many still endure physical and verbal abuse, extreme neglect, and ridicule. Even more are left without opportunities to truly live, thrive, and find purpose in their lives because it is assumed that they are incapable of productive work, meaningful relationships, and a fulfilling life. It is this marginalized treatment of these individuals that led Dr. Ralph Richardson to Home of Hope, a nonprofit organization based in Vinita that provides residential, vocational and other services to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Richardson is a psychologist who has worked with trauma victims throughout his career, including families of children with medical crises such as cancer and blood diseases. Prior to joining Home of Hope as chief executive officer in August of 2014, Dr. Richardson worked with at-risk youth at Hope Harbor Children’s Home in Claremore for 10 years. Home of Hope, Rogers County Training Center and Delaware County Friendship Homes, work together to serve more than 250 adults with intellectual disabilities. Their services span 5 counties in N.E. Oklahoma in the communities of Vinita, Claremore, Grove, Jay, Miami and Pryor. We provide a wide range of services tailored to meet the needs of each individual. Their residential services offer many levels of support. Vocational services staff work to help individuals gain jobs that promote self-worth and achievement. Their organized activities, including participation in Special Olympics, meet a variety of interests and abilities. Home of Hope employs more than 400 individuals dedicated to providing the best quality of life to those we serve. To support its many important programs, Home of Hope does hold several fundraising events throughout the year, but what it needs most is ongoing financial and volunteer support, and of course it’s always looking for great people to join its team of dedicated employees. Home of Hope is always looking to add or train direct support professionals to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.