Our Program

Hope Home utilizes an eight-step program to develop self-sufficient clients. The different elements of the program are:

  1. Personal development planning.
  2. Vocational development.
  3. Substance abuse prevention.
  4. Interpersonal skill development.
  5. Personal and spiritual development.
  6. Community involvement.
  7. Creative leisure activities/celebration.
  8. Independent living preparation/follow up.

Each of these components is described in-depth below.

  1. Personal development planning.

Personal development is a unique curriculum designed to change dysfunctional attitudes and build resiliency, responsibility, and emotional intelligence. Through a variety of instructional approaches (group discussions, journal-writing, case studies, role plays, poems, analogies, and experiential exercises) personal development teaches the pro-social skills, attitudes, and behavior clients need to succeed.

Using an underlying theme of empowerment, a positive life view is presented in a way which is motivating even to the most discouraged or resistant persons. Clients are taught how to "take control of" their emotions by "choosing" to be positive, happy, and powerful, rather than negative, unhappy, and a victim by controlling what they focus on and tell themselves. Power is redefined as "control over one's self" rather than control over others. "Living powerfully" is defined as being aware of one's choices and the possible consequences which could follow, consciously making a choice and then "owning" the results--good OR bad, rather than giving away one's "power to learn" from mistakes by blaming someone else. Clients are taught to set goals in order to "take control of" their lives, since the brain's job is to create in reality whatever directions it receives.

Personal development also teaches clients how to relate from their "Adult ego state" rather than allow their "Child" ego state to take over, which generally results in a negative reaction from others. An anger management and conflict resolution process is taught, again using role plays and very realistic case studies. Hundreds of schools and organizations are now using this curriculum.


  • SELF-AWARENESS--Being attuned to your feelings, recognizing them as they happen.  Personal development teaches clients how to stay off “Auto-Pilot” by keeping their Adult Ego State turned on and by paying attention to their feelings in a non-reactive, nonjudgmental way.
  • SELF-CONTROL--Being able to manage your emotions and moods, to be able to calm yourself when upset, control impulses and emotions, handle frustrations, and delay gratification. It includes being able to keep from being “emotionally hijacked” by your feelings, and thus able to handle stress, anxiety, and anger. Personal development teaches the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, explaining that whatever you “tell” yourself about what is happening to you will directly affect your feelings. Clients are taught the skill of Cognitive Reframing (choosing to see things in a different and more positive way) as a way of keeping or regaining control of their emotions.
  • EMPATHY--Being able to shift your perspective and see situations from the perspective of others. It also includes being able to read the body language of others and is best expressed through your communication skills. Personal development teaches how to do this.
  • COMMUNICATION SKILLS--Being able to listen effectively, express feelings assertively, and resolve conflicts using a win-win negotiation style.  Personal development  teaches all of these communication skills and allows students the opportunity to practice them in realistic role-play situations.
  • SELF-EFFICACY--Believing in your own power to make choices about how you will respond in any situation instead of allowing other people to control you by “pushing your buttons.” Personal development teaches the concept that the mind is a computer and that each of us is its ultimate programmer. In other words, whatever you tell yourself becomes your reality and affects the quality of your decisions. You are POWERFUL because you can always change the way you feel--again, by what you choose to focus on, what you tell yourself, and what you choose to do.
  • ABILITY TO SELF-MOTIVATE--Being able to persist in the face of frustration. This ability is developed by using the above skills. Personal development teaches that whether you think you can or think you CAN’T in any situation, you are correct, because it is the job of your brain to help turn what you want into your reality. However, you must BELIEVE YOU CAN first! Visualization and self-talk help you believe in yourself.

  1.  Vocational development.

Vocational Development provides an individualized and systematic process in which a person learns to identify viable vocational options and develop employment goals and objectives.  This process incorporates background information and uses a combination of testing, situational assessments, community-based try-outs, prevailing labor market data, occupational information, assistive technology, functional capacities, accommodations, and/or modifications.  It incorporates respect for the client's personal processes of growth, self-empowerment, and development of insight leading to the client's informed choice of meaningful career progression goals.

The individualized evaluation plan is based on referral information, referral questions, the initial interview, and the stated overall purpose of the evaluation.  The plan is prepared by the person served and the vocational evaluator and will include questions to be answered throughout the evaluation, indicate how and by whom these questions will be answered, and be reviewed and modified periodically by the evaluator and the person served.

A written vocational evaluation report is prepared for each person participating in the evaluation process.  The information and interpretation is shared with the person served and disseminated in a timely manner to the agencies and individuals responsible for implementing the plan.  The ultimate goal of the program is to make the best possible match between the recipient's interest, abilities, work traits and employment prospects, and assisting them in reaching their maximum vocational potential.

  1. Substance abuse prevention.

Hope Home will utilize the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for high-risk and regular families. SFP is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse in children and to improve social competencies and school performance. Child maltreatment also decreases as parents strengthen bonds with their children and learn more effective parenting skills.

The original 14-session evidence-based SFP for high-risk families with children ages 6 to 11 years (SFP6-11) was developed and tested in the mid 1980s by Dr. Kumpfer on a NIDA research grant with children of substance abusing parents. Subsequent randomized control trials (RCTs) have found similar positive results with families in many different ethnic groups. Both culturally adapted versions and the core version of SFP have been found effective with African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and First Nations families. SFP is in 26 countries with language translations into Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, Slovenian, Russian, Tai, Burmese, Chinese and other languages.

In the early 1990's, Drs. Kumpfer and Molgaard Co-PIs on an Iowa State University grant developed a shorter 7-session version for low-risk families with pre- and early teens (SFP10-14). In the 2000s new 14-session versions for high-risk families with both younger children (SFP3-5) and early teens (SFP12-16) were developed by Drs. Kumpfer and Whiteside and replicated in multiple agencies in the USA and Europe with better results than the research RCT studies (Kumpfer, Greene, Whiteside & Allen, 2010, Kumpfer, Xie, & O'Driscoll, 2012).

In 2011 a new 10-session Home-Use DVD version (SFP 8-16) and group curriculum was developed by Drs. Kumpfer and Whiteside and Jaynie Brown. It has been pilot tested in schools with excellent results that are equivalent to the prior tested SFP versions (Kumpfer & Brown, 2011). The new universal prevention versions use the same research-proven content and principles and add research on the impact of alcohol and drug use on the developing teen brain. The Home Use DVD is for parents and children to watch together in their own homes, and has ten 30-minute lessons plus a short Introductory Lesson featuring healthy brain development. Handouts for each lesson can be printed off the DVD when placed in a computer. The DVD is meant for home-use only, and not to be sold for profit nor used in a group "for fee" setting.

  1. Interpersonal skill development.

Interpersonal skills are those skills which allow people to develop effective relationships with others. This could include social relationships or working relationships whether on a one to one basis or in a team. Interpersonal skills are essential skills to possess to be successful and happy in all aspects life.

Increasingly, in today’s society, things get done by groups or through teamwork. Realizing this it becomes imperative that clients be able to work with all types of people from all backgrounds. Without strong interpersonal skills clients become limited to only what they can physically do themselves. When they build strong relationships they are able to leverage their time and effort to accomplish much more than they can individually.

Interpersonal skills not only must be learned, they must be developed through use over time. The only way to truly master interpersonal skills is to use them on a continual basis while learning to refine them over time through ongoing training.   All family members will undergo an assessment of their interpersonal skills.  Based on this assessment, individualized skills development plans will be created and implemented.  Common areas addressed will be anger management, conflict resolution, building self confidence, effective communication in personal and business interactions, stress management, and time management.

  1. Personal and spiritual development.

Hope Home believes in a holistic approach to client assistance.  We seek to serve the mind, body and spirit.  The mind is served through development of a variety of personal and mental health skills, the body is served through providing for housing and carrier training.  As a ministry of First United Presbyterian Church, we also seek to encourage the spiritual development of the families we serve. 

We will encourage regular attendance at the church of the client's choice.  Spiritual development will also be integrated into all other programming as we believe that our being can not be compartmentalized.

  1. Community involvement.

Often the clients we serve have isolated themselves from the community.  There are many reasons for this ranging from embarrassment regarding their financial situation, interpersonal conflicts, substance abuse, or transportation issues.  As a result of this isolation, clients fail to realize the inherent support found by living in a community.  We will seek opportunities to involve the clients in community events and organizations.  Volunteers will actively invite clients to appropriate events.

  1. Creative leisure activities/celebration.

Many clients fail to take time to relax and recuperate through integrating leisure activities into their daily routine.  They are caught up in the everyday stress of survival and don't feel they have the time or the money to participate in leisure activities.  Our program will teach clients the importance of leisure activities and provide specific instruction in low/no cost activities. 

Many of our families feel so beaten down by life they have lost the ability to see, let alone celebrate, their accomplishments.  We will teach clients to see their successes, no matter how small, and will stress the need to take time to celebrate accomplishments large and small.  We look forward to celebrating with them.

  1. Independent living preparation/follow up.

The ultimate goal of our program is for clients to transition to successful independent living.  To ensure this goal is reached, we will provide clients with the tools needed to be successful.  Tools such as household budgeting, post discharge housing selection and housekeeping, community resource use, nutrition, appropriate use of credit, emergency and safety skills, and citizenship.