Hope House Foundation is LKNConnect’s Outstanding Non-profit for October 2019. Week 1 we were introduced to Hope House and its mission, week 2 we learned about its place in our community, week 3 we learned about volunteering, and week 4 we learned about an innovative program. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor


Hope to Home

Hope to Home is a unique and innovative program that helps families seeking long-term housing and stability. Its goal is to provide families in our community who are facing multiple layers of housing insecurity to find a place to call home. The vision of Hope to Home is to provide lasting solutions to housing instability through a network of collaborative partners who believe that all people possess the capability to make transformative life choices. The core value of this unique program is commitment to the power of client voice and choice. Furthermore, that all relationships are guided by compassion, empathy, respect for each person, partner and the community. We believe in each client’s ability to contribute to the community.


Working together to serve North Mecklenburg County

Hope to Home serves individuals and families experiencing housing instability residing in North Mecklenburg County who desire to regain their independence and transform their lives. Lack of affordable housing and the unheard voice of the families facing homelessness has led to the creation of this program.


Driven by the need to create a solution to housing instability and the belief that collaboration strengthens services, the Ada Jenkins Center, The Hope House Foundation and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity developed a partnership called Hope to Home. What makes this program unusual is that three agencies with existing missions came together to create a joint solution to a similar crisis experienced by each agency.



Bridging programs and removing barriers

The Ada Jenkins Center, The Hope House Foundation and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity all serve families experiencing housing instability and provide parallel programing. Collaboration evolved through conversations resulting in a shared Johnson C. Smith, MSW intern who now provides the programming bridge, removes barriers, and eliminates duplication of services. These conversations gave rise to a call to action to create a sustainable solution.


Hope to Home serves families faced with obstacles related to poverty and homelessness who meet the program criteria and agree to all program guidelines. Hope to Home client partners are offered a teaching home model designed to identify areas of individual growth. This model aids families in developing the skills needed for sustainability and self-sufficiency. It provides coordinated services with a safe and affordable living environment including a well-organized integration of services that are key to economic mobility.


Whole family services


Coordinated services include the whole family, focusing on safe housing, education, career development, financial literacy, family and child stability, and building social capital. Families must be enrolled in the Ada Jenkins Investment Pathways program and be committed to working on their solutions to identified barriers. Once identified families can be recommended for the Hope to Home program and be offered a home to live in for up to one year. These homes are a “teaching” home model that provides supportive services from a client support specialist.


Families in the Hope to Home model are offered the opportunity to move from transitional to progressive to potentially permanent housing!





The future of Hope to Home involves the commitment of the community with partnerships that incorporate multi-sector collaborations made up of non-profit, private, public, civic, corporate and faith-based organizations from within the community whose partnerships support the vision.


For more information

Contact Hope House Foundation.


Debbie O'Handley, Executive Director


Debbie O’Handley has dedicated her career to finding hope and healing for homeless women and children. By focusing on the quality of life of this vulnerable population, Debbie has worked hard to create sustainable programs for families to feel safe, proud, and provide opportunities for parents to partner with their children for a brighter future.


In 2014, Hope House Foundation hired Debbie as their Executive Director. She brings her experience interacting with key decision-makers, community leaders, and family support agencies to raise awareness of the plight of the situationally homeless. In 2016, Debbie was voted as one of the seven top area not-for-profit leaders in the Lake Norman community.