The HOPE Program

Work, Grow, Sustain.

aka HOPE   |   Brooklyn, NY   |  http://www.thehopeprogram.org

Mission

The HOPE Program empowers New Yorkers to build sustainable futures through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support. We serve adults facing significant barriers to employment, including histories of substance use disorder, homelessness, criminal legal involvement, and limited educational attainment. With access to holistic support and sustainable careers, our graduates disrupt cycles of inequity and injustice. HOPE is a community-based organization that works directly within our surrounding neighborhood. Through our workforce development, we invest in families and historically low-income communities.

Ruling year info

1985

Executive Director

Ms. Jennifer Mitchell

Main address

One Smith Street, Fourth Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3268539

NTEE code info

Vocational Counseling / Guidance / Testing (J21)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The HOPE Program empowers New Yorkers to build sustainable futures through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support. At HOPE, we aim to create pathways to meaningful, sustainable careers for communities facing systemic barriers to employment. The communities we serve have long faced high rates of unemployment and poverty. In addition, many of our clients have experienced serious environmental and health-related injustices as a result of environmental hazards in their neighborhoods. HOPE works to bridge the gap between unemployment in historically low-income, environmentally neglected communities and career opportunities in the green sector. Throughout our history, our work has addressed barriers to employment through training, networks, digital access, wraparound services, and more. Now, we are looking toward the future of the labor market, preparing hundreds of jobseekers each year for promising careers.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

HOPEworks

HOPEworks is a 7-week general industry program with an intensive focus on essential skills such as goal-setting, teamwork, workplace communications, time management, and interview skills. This essential skills training also serves as the core curriculum for HOPE’s green sector programs.

Population(s) Served

SSBx provides 14 weeks of training for careers in green construction and maintenance. Participants learn about environmental justice; gain hard skills such as carpentry, utilities, building mechanics, landscaping, and energy auditing; and earn industry certifications that help them stand out in the job market.

Population(s) Served

Intervine is a 10-week transitional employment program serving individuals with incarceration histories of heightened risk of entering the criminal legal system. Participants are paid to execute green infrastructure and maintenance contracts throughout the city.

Population(s) Served

NYC CoolRoofs is another 10-week transitional employment program that trains and pays participants to coat rooftops with a reflective material that decreases buildings’ energy consumption and mitigates the urban heat island effect.

Population(s) Served

YouthBuild is based on a proven international model, serving young adults (18-24) through 20 weeks of high school equivalency preparation, leadership development, and construction and landscaping hard skills and on-the-job training.

Population(s) Served

Green & Clean HVAC Training is a 13-week program for careers in the expanding heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and heat pump industry, with a focus on the installation and maintenance of high efficiency technologies.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our average job placement rate over the past three fiscal years is 77%.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

HOPE’s work and goals are informed by the evolving labor market and cutting-edge, workforce-based solutions in environmental justice, as outlined below.

HOPE aims to provide comprehensive training and career services, offering six distinct classroom-based training and transitional employment programs. Participants in all programs receive training in digital literacy, financial literacy, work wellness, and workplace math and English. We have continued to update our training and business development plans to align with the trajectory of the post-pandemic job market, described in more detail in the “Strategies” section.

HOPE works to offer holistic support, through a wide range of wraparound services such as digital access, mental health counseling, case management, business attire for job interviews, daily meals, and subsidized transportation. Our motto, “When you’re HOPE, you’re HOPE for life,” means we work with our graduates long past their first job placements, supporting them through the highs and lows of their careers.

In response to the pandemic, HOPE has made consistent efforts and adjustments to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our clients, as well as our staff. Today, the majority of our programs are in person or hybrid, although we continue to offer fully remote training options for those who are interested. A detailed outline of our pandemic response is outlined in the “Strategies” section.

Finally, one of HOPE’s primary goals is to contribute to the creation of a workforce that is prepared to resolve environmental challenges faced by our clients. HOPE’s green jobs training is informed by the communities we serve, as well as the environmental injustices they experience. In particular, the South Bronx has long been overburdened by unfavorable land uses – such as overtrucking and toxic air pollution – that have resulted in health and quality of life issues for residents. These conditions, combined with emissions from local power plants and a lack of green space and investment in renewable energy, result in quality of life and health challenges for local residents. HOPE provides community members with lessons in environmental justice and in skills that support successful, long-term careers in climate change mitigation and environmental restoration.

During the initial onslaught of the pandemic, HOPE swiftly codified and implemented a remote job training curriculum, the first of its kind serving New Yorkers with low levels of digital literacy, and we have completed dozens of remote cohorts to date. Throughout this time, we continued to place our graduates into new job opportunities, including many graduates of previous cohorts who experienced layoffs and bounced back. During the pandemic, we expanded our commitment to guarantee wages or stipends to participants in all programs during their training, and we implemented remote programming, coupled with comprehensive digital support. Finally, HOPE has continued to provide our clients with direct cash assistance and technical supplies – such as laptops and Wifi hotspots – to support their urgent needs, as well as transitional wages for work opportunities.

HOPE has also continued to update our programming to align with the evolving job market. For example, we piloted a new sector-based approach to our HOPEworks general industry program, in which each cohort completes one week of hard skills training, certifications, and employer connections specific to employer partners that have immediate staffing needs. Sectors piloted to date include security, hospitality, and healthcare with partners committed to strong wages and job quality. This approach provides our graduates with a more direct connection to employment opportunities immediately following training. In addition, our employer partnerships have informed our training programs based on the exact credentials being sought out in the hiring process, as well as increased communication and networking opportunities between jobseekers and employers.

Finally, HOPE utilizes a comprehensive strategy for outreach and enrollment in the community. This includes flyering in target neighborhoods, tabling at community events, maintaining strong referral partnerships with other organizations that serve our target populations (such as homeless shelters, residential rehabilitation facilities, and those in the criminal legal system), paid and organic social media outreach, information sessions 3 days a week (including 2 virtual sessions, plus weekly sessions at our Bronx and Brooklyn sites, ensuring that our programs remain accessible for those who are not comfortable using Zoom), a referral incentive program for current participants and graduates, and more. HOPE has implemented several new outreach and intake strategies over the past year to bolster enrollment, such as redesigning our information sessions for enhanced engagement and a consistent visual identity, building new community partnerships with institutions serving populations facing barriers to employment, restructuring our recruitment team to focus primarily on outreach as opposed to intake, and more.

HOPE’s organizational infrastructure, combined with the many years of experience of our leadership, informs the capability we have for achieving our goals.

HOPE is home to 63 staff members. Our staff is composed of our Development and Evaluation Team, Finance and Operations Team, and Program Team. Our teams bring together expertise in a variety of sectors, including the burgeoning green sector, in which many HOPE participants have built careers. We also have staff dedicated to job retention, supporting graduates long after being placed into jobs.

Our senior leaders bring years of experience and knowledge to the table. Our Executive Director, Jennifer Mitchell, has been with HOPE since 2011, and has dedicated her career to date to supporting marginalized communities and identifying and cultivating their talents, securing jobs, and building sustainable careers. Our Chief Development and Evaluation Officer has also been with HOPE since 2011, and has been instrumental in HOPE’s significant growth. Our Chief Financial and Operating Officer brings over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and has managed up to $45 million in annual revenue across multiple nonprofit organizations. Finally, our Chief Program Officer has over 20 years of experience leading workforce development programs prior to her work at HOPE.

HOPE’s capabilities are also informed by our many partners for recruitment, programs, and job placements. We engage dozens of partners to refer new students, provide programmatic support, employ our graduates, and work together to address the large-scale needs of the workforce development community. Our top referral agencies include the New York City Human Resources Administration, Samaritan Village, Workforce One, and NYCHA.

We partner with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners for financial literacy classes; Spring Bank for connecting our clients with no-fee checking accounts and direct deposit; Kula for Karma for yoga and meditation lessons as part of our mindfulness curriculum; and a variety of partners who test our students for industry-recognized certifications. We are also a key leader within the Jerome Avenue Revitalization Collaborative (JARC), a network that seeks to maintain employment pathways for soon-to-be displaced auto workers in the Bronx, and our Executive Director is the Vice Chair of the Board of the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, allowing us to remain in touch with the community’s needs.

Top employer partners include Action Environmental Group, AeroTek, Alliance Building Services, and Bright Power. As we expand and continue our focus on the green sector, we have recently developed new partnerships with employers like the Horticultural Society of New York, CitiBike, Oonee, and others. We continue to cultivate new partnerships in this emerging sector while supporting our longstanding employer partners by providing them with skilled employees.

Over the past 5 years, HOPE has accomplished the following:

Clients:
- Created the infrastructure to position ourselves for continued growth as NYC recovers from the pandemic
- Added 3 new program tracks, while maintaining 3 existing program tracks
- Introduced a codified essential skills curriculum (which was then also adapted to be delivered virtually)
- Doubled down on our HOPE4Life philosophy during a global pandemic– deepening both our digital literacy and mental health services
- Acted as leaders in the formation of 3 employment networks (YES Bed Stuy; JARC; Green Economy Network)

Employees:
- Expanded our HR capacity
- Upgraded our technology infrastructure (from desktops to laptops & chromebooks; from Microsoft Office to Google Suite)
- Raised wages to a minimum of $21/hour for every employee
- Launched an organization-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) initiative

Organizational Sustainability:
- Increased our annual budget from over $4 million in FY’17 to over $9 million in FY’23 (increasing our government funds from 30% to approximately 50%)
- Continued to be recognized as leaders in the workforce development community
- Established a risk register that is reviewed and updated annually

Looking towards the future, HOPE aims to achieve the following:

Clients:
- In response to enrollment shortfalls this past year, we will continue to utilize our new outreach and intake strategies to increase our reach in the community
- Explore new sectors and new employer-based trainings

Employees:
- Continue to invest in DEIA initiatives
- Continue to develop and articulate clear career pathways
- Continue to refine our performance evaluation process

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    HOPE serves New Yorkers facing significant barriers to employment, such as histories of substance abuse (29% of clients), court involvement (46%), homelessness (44%), and/or a lack of high school diploma or equivalency (28%). Further, 91% are people of color and 100% are considered low-income. HOPE envisions career paths for New Yorkers who are working to overcome systemic and other barriers: racism in hiring, health disparities, criminal legal system involvement, and the persistent digital divide.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Informal feedback throughout the program,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

The HOPE Program
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The HOPE Program

Board of directors
as of 10/12/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lauren Samuel

Barclays Strategy

Julienne Silverman

PJT Partners

Nancy Bowe

Robert Goldstein

WeiserMazars LLP

Denise Cautela

LinkedIn

Rachel Eisman

JPMorgan Asset Management

Susan Elolampi

UBS

Inessa Even

Wells Fargo Strategic Capital

Christina Horner

Augusta Humphreys

Citi

Kevin Hungate

NBC News

Anthony Lennon

Macquarie Group

Gabrielle Levin

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Katharine Lynn

Palantir Technologies

Paul Neuman

Neuman’s Kitchen

Alix Oliver

Aetion

Cameron Poston

NBCUniversal

Dan Schechner

DoorDash

Abdallah Simaika

GAF

Josette Thompson

Prosek Partners

Stephanie Zuckerbrod

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/10/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.