Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ground Breaking for Building Hope Capital Campaign

I am very excited to be writing about the ground breaking for our construction project on our Independence campus. We have worked so hard on the Building Hope Capital Campaign and have made tremendous progress in the past year. This progress is due to our dedicated committee, and the dedication and commitment of Chief Development Officer, Nancy DuVall. Nancy has worked tirelessly to see the campaign to its completion.

The ground breaking ceremony is a time for us to celebrate all of the accomplishments and the excitement of the new construction and the many changes that will follow. I am very excited about the improvements that will take place on the campus that will allow the clients a place of serenity and safety as they stay with us and begin to rebuild their lives. They deserve a place of beauty and comfort; a place that will energize them and give them the peace of mind to work through the issues they must face to live free of abuse.

The contractor estimates construction of the new therapy building will take 9 months, so if (when) we stay on schedule, we will be in our new therapy building in early 2011. The renovations to the existing buildings are not expected to take as long as constructing a whole new building, so we will be enjoying and utilizing the newly renovated spaces in Shelter and the Early Childhood Center in 2010.

The Community Partnership Building will open as soon as the therapists are able to move into their new building. How exciting to be able to offer the clients this new space which will better meet their needs and a place for community businesses to come and partner with us to offer services to our clients.

We still have work to do to finish the campaign; we still need to raise $430,000 to complete the $5,000,000 campaign. We have tax credits available for anyone who is interested in making a gift to the campaign. If you are interested in learning more about the campaign or would like to join us on April 9th at 10AM for the ground breaking ceremony, contact Nancy at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Court Advocacy Program

When perpetrators of domestic and dating violence are not held accountable, they are more likely to continue to batter.[1]  Conversely, when law enforcement officers are trained in the dynamics of domestic violence, offenders are more likely to be apprehended, and victims are more likely to feel supported and thereby participate in the criminal justice process.[2]  In fact, victims are most satisfied when the criminal justice system and nonprofit victim service organizations collaborate to listen to victims, explain their options, and honor their choices.[3] It is imperative for a community to establish an effective, coordinated effort between law enforcement, prosecutors, and domestic violence service providers. 


Hope House has long known that offering shelter is not enough to break the cycle of domestic violence. A comprehensive array of services is necessary to meet the needs of the victims we serve. One aspect of those services is court advocacy that coincides with a collaborative working relationship with area police departments and the judicial system. For far too long law enforcement, courts and service provider systems were fragmented when dealing with domestic violence.

A shift took place over 15 years ago and the system started addressing domestic violence together as a cohesive system rather than separate parts. In our community, domestic violence is viewed as a community problem, not a family problem or a problem for Hope House to solve. We realized that working together is imperative in keeping the victim safe and holding the offender accountable.


The police respond to a call, arrest the perpetrator and give information to the victim about Hope House services. Many police officers will assist the victim in calling the hotline [816.461.HOPE (4673)] from the scene, to make that first step in reaching out for assistance less frightening. Hope House employs court advocates to provide advocacy services in 11 courts in Eastern Jackson County, serving over 9,000 victims every year.  

Court Advocates educate victims about the dynamics of battering relationships, discuss the services available at Hope House, and explain the procedures for obtaining ex parte Orders of Protection, as well as work with the Domestic Violence Investigator to target persistent offenders.  Hope House Court Advocates also provide domestic violence trainings and awareness materials for law enforcement, court personnel, and members of the judiciary.


What we have learned in working with clients through the court system is they are often unaware of their options. They are not familiar with how the criminal justice system works, their rights, or may not even be fully aware of the danger they were living in. The court advocacy program and its collaborative partnership assist victims through the process and give a face to the system. The working relationships with the police and prosecutors save lives. Victims have gotten out of relationships and are living free of abuse thanks to the help they received.


Let me end with a story that will put it all into perspective. The police were called to a home in reference to a domestic violence assault. The man was arrested and taken out of the home. A couple of days later the domestic violence detective and court advocate went to the home to check on the victim of the assault. When the woman opened her door, she was surprised to see the detective and an advocate standing there.

Once the detective explained they were there to check in on her because no one had been able to get a hold of her, she began to cry. The victim said “I didn’t realize anyone cared. I thought I was in this alone.” You see, once the man bonded out of jail, he come home and shot up the living room in retaliation for the police being called. The victim said she did not call the police after that incident because she feared for her life. The advocate was able to assist the victim with obtaining an emergency ex-parte and the detective worked on getting state charges filed against the abuser. This woman did not go through this alone and she did get out of her 15 year abusive relationship.  

1 Reported in the Campaign for Funding to End Domestic and Sexual Violence FY 2009 Appropriations Briefing Book (2008).  Cassandra Archer et al., Institute for Law and Justice, National Evaluation of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program 14 (Nov. 2002).
2 Ibid.
3 National Institute of Justice (Jan. 2006). Victim Satisfaction with the Criminal Justice System. NIJ Journal No 253

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Fling is Saturday, March 20

There are signs of Spring in the air and Hope House is ready. We are gearing up for our event Spring Fling Destination: The Orient!

Mark your calendar today for the place to be from 6:30PM to 10PM on Saturday, March 20, 2010! Enjoy roulette, black jack, Texas Hold 'Em, and craps. NEW SURPRISES are in store like celebrity bingo with KMBC’s news anchor Kris Ketz calling the numbers!  Prizes will be awarded to winners.

There will be a buffet with goodies like vegetarian lo mien, General’s chicken, fried rice, egg rolls and crab Rangoon. The signature drink for the evening is a Singapore Sling!

New this year is a silent auction Treasure Chest…an opportunity for the first 25 bidders at $35 to receive a prize valued at a minimum of $50. There will also be a live auction with awesome items like a unique Sgt. Pepper’s album cover reproduction with laser signatures of the Fab Four; a trip to Monterey, California; and tickets to see the SOLD OUT Taylor Swift concert at the Sprint Center, just to name a few. There are a total of 10 items.

Tickets are easy to get. You can go to our website at  and click on Spring Fling, or contact Libby, our Special Events Manager at 816.257.9334. Tickets are only $50 each and that gets you $200 gaming “cash”, 2 drink tickets and assigned seating. There are other sponsorships available beginning at $500. You can learn more about that on the website or by calling Libby as well.

The event is at the Hilton Garden Inn in Independence, which is exit #17 (Little Blue Parkway) less than a mile off I-70. You can check in at 6:30 and gaming begins at 7:00. The proceeds from the evening’s festivities fund our operations. We are grateful for the support of the community in making this event a success and we look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, March 8, 2010



State domestic violence funding was restored on Thursday, March 4, by the House Budget Chairman Alan Icet (R-Wildwood) in his Department of Social Services appropriations bill HB 2011. A House appropriations committee had earlier recommended cutting state domestic violence funding by 50% ($2.375 million), but the Chairman’s new budget bill will restore DV funding to current levels ($4.75 million).

Chairman Icet’s bill will be the basis of House Budget Committee deliberations for each state department. Those hearings will begin March 15 after this week’s legislative spring break.

How wonderful it was to learn that the funding cuts that would have been absolutely devastating to our budgets had been restored in the House Budget! The work that Hope House does is critical to helping victims of domestic violence reclaim their lives and focus on starting new lives free of abuse.

Thank you to all of you who called or wrote to your representatives to encourage them to reinstate this funding. It does make a difference and your voice was heard.

Thank you to all of our representatives who not only heard that message but advocated on our behalf. It is clear they understood the devastating impact these cuts would have on victims and how lives would be lost.

We are not through the budget process and I know that the state is facing critical shortfalls in revenue. Very difficult decisions are ahead for our representatives. I am extremely grateful for their commitment to the residents of Missouri during this very difficult time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Funding For Hope House

With the news of potential 50% funding cuts from the state of Missouri, many questions have been asked about our funding so I thought I would take this opportunity to address that in this blog.

We receive revenues from public and private sources. Our public funding consists of grant funding from city, county, state and federal government sources and accounts for 42% of our overall funding. We are very proud to be United Way partner agency, with 5% of our budget coming from United Way. Our private funding comes from individuals, businesses, service organizations, churches and special events, and is the remaining 53% of our budget.


We have worked hard to diversify our funding so that a downturn in one area won’t significantly impact or cripple our budget. This has not been easy; however, we recognize its importance and will continue to strive toward this goal. In the past two years, cuts in funding from public sources have forced us to add to our private fundraising expectations. We have worked to create funding sources that are sustainable and “economy proof”. One way we are accomplishing this is through innovative partnerships. I am happy to share two examples.


The first partnership is with Best Value Thrift Stores. Best Value collects donated items on behalf of Hope House to sell in their thrift stores. In exchange, Hope House receives a monthly remittance resulting from the sale of donated items. This partnership creates a guaranteed annual compensation of nearly $100,000 in support of Hope House programs and operations! If you are interested in having items picked up from your home, please call 816.554.0870.


Another partnership is with Global Re-source Funding. For every inkjet, toner/laser cartridge, digital camera, GPS device, iPod, laptop and cell phone that is collected and donated to Hope House, Global Re-Source Funding will send a donation to Hope House for the full buyback value of the product as it is recycled for re-sale. Global Re-Source Funding will supply collection bins plus pick-up services and marketing materials for your program – all at no cost.

The best part of this program is that you can raise money to support Hope House simply by asking for a donation of items that most people discard anyway. To learn more or to enroll in this partnership please visit


We will continue to strive to meet the challenge of serving over 10,000 victims of domestic violence every year by exploring new and lasting ways to bring in sustainable revenue. Please let us know if you have partnership ideas or if you would like to make a donation that will support our services. You can visit for more information.