During a mission trip to Russia and Romania in 1993, Pastor Tom and Donna Mullins (Christ Fellowship Church) toured several orphanages and witnessed the deplorable living conditions and dire needs of devastated refugee children. Their journey also brought them to a loving environment where they observed children who were rescued from these orphanages and given a chance to thrive. They witnessed remarkable changes and growth. The seeds that were planted took root in their hearts, and following their return home, the vision for Place of Hope began to grow. They recognized our God-given responsibility to respond to the needs of hurting children and their families throughout our community and took action. The foundation was laid, our model and programs were developed, and our mission was launched in 1998.
Place of Hope is a unique, faith-based, state-licensed child welfare organization providing family-style foster care (emergency and long-term) for "hard-to-place" and other "special needs" foster children, family outreach and intervention, comprehensive maternity care, safety for victims of labor and sex trafficking, transitional housing and support services for transitioning and emancipated foster and other homeless youth, traditional foster care recruitment and support, hope, and healing opportunities for children and families who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect throughout our region. Through our family-model approach and commitment, we are dedicated to providing stable, loving, and nurturing environments and support for foster children (and their families) while in state custody, following family reunification, pre-adoptive placement, and post-emancipation from care. We strive to foster and support healthy and productive lives, free from fear, endangerment, and most of all, abuse. Children and families can find dignity, guidance, and hope through various programs and efforts at Place of Hope - Placing Hope in a Child's Future.
In an effort to meet the desperate needs of the children, families, and child welfare system in our community, we have developed various programs and have become the largest comprehensive child welfare organization in the region. We were so excited to celebrate 15 years of operation in May 2016! We are also thrilled to report that in 2015, for the second year in a row, Place of Hope was ranked as the number one rated nonprofit for Youth Development, Shelter, and Crisis Services in the nation by Charity Navigator (America’s largest independent charity evaluator)! In 2014, Place of Hope's top ranking was featured in The Huffington Post as one of the “11 Top-Rated Charities that Changed the World in 2014!" According to Charity Navigator, "Only nine percent of the charities [they] rate have received at least four consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Place of Hope outperforms most other charities in America. This 'exceptional' designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Place of Hope from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust." In addition to this, Place of Hope received a 100% rating on Charity Navigator’s new rating system in June 2016!
Can you imagine an innocent child having to be removed from their home because their parents did not take care of them? Sadly, about 30,000 children are removed from their homes because of abuse, abandonment, and neglect in the State of Florida each year. Currently, between 50 and 100 children in Palm Beach County are removed from their homes and placed in the foster care system each month because of mistreatment. There are close to 1,200 children who live in out of home care in Palm Beach County. These numbers are hard to comprehend, but they are steadily increasing. Over the past three years, we have seen the establishment of a new "normal rate" at which children enter the foster care system in Palm Beach County. As a result, the local system is over-capacity and, unfortunately, many children have been placed out of county.
Even more frightening than the thought of this growing number of children being placed in a system that is not able to care for them are the consequences of being placed in such a system. Research shows that potential outcomes of spending time in foster care include brain damage, developmental delays, aggressive behavior, and depression. Research also shows that a result of being raised in multiple foster homes and facilities is that youth nearing emancipation have not yet mastered the skills necessary for self-sufficiency. Without basic life-skills, youth who leave care have difficulty staying healthy, finding safe housing, getting and keeping a steady job, and avoiding financial and legal trouble. Too few undertake the education and training necessary to compete in today's economy. There is often no one with whom they can share small successes or from whom advice can be sought. Simple emergencies easily escalate into full-blown crises.
With nearly half a million children living in foster care nationwide, these scenarios can be overwhelming, but at Place of Hope, we offer healthy alternatives to these harmful predictions. In regard to the children entrusted to our care and their families, we strive to foster hope rather than despair, potential rather than limitations, healing rather than hurting, belonging rather than isolation, and what the future can be, rather than what the past has been. We continue to develop successful programs in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the children and youth in our care, and as a result, they are beating the odds, defeating the statistics, and becoming successful young adults who are contributing to society. Place of Hope proudly served over 1,100 children and families in 2015, and nearly 9,000 in the past 15 years! We currently serve over 300 children and youth on a daily basis in all of our programs.
Visit Place of Hope's website HERE.
If you are considering making a bequest to the Place of Hope fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, we recommend the following language:
I hereby give, devise and bequeath _________ and No/100 dollars ($DOLLARS)... OR
I hereby give, devise and bequeath ____ percent (___%) of my total estate, determined as of the date of my death,...
...to the Place of Hope's Hope for the Future Endowment fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, a nonprofit organization located at 700 S. Dixie Highway, Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL, 33401.
If you would like information about other ways to give, including gifts that provide you with immediate tax deductions, income for the rest of your life and preferential treatment of capital gains taxes, click HERE or call Sheila Kinman at (561) 340-4503.