Our Frontline Heroes Direct Support PROFESSIONAL (DSP) by Lynne Seagle When Hope House Foundation developed its strategic plan last year, providing services and support to people with disabilities in the midst of a pandemic was not included. Yet here we are. We have cancelled our fundraising events, closed our Thrift Store and secured additional personal protection equipment and supplies. Blunting the curve, social distancing and mitigation are now part of our lexicon, and daily leadership meetings via video our norm. Much has changed, yet there remains a clear and ever-present
constant – our professional directsupport workforce. You don’t see them mentioned a lot in the news or by government leaders. We hear about the essential workforce in hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies, food delivery and truck drivers. Certainly, we are grateful to all of them. At the same time, our staff who come to work every day to support people with disabilities, often times impossible to do from a six-foot distance, are almost invisible to the general public and therefore under appreciated. We have always known that the direct support professional is essential. They show up and
provide exceptional services with compassion, kindness and integrity each day, every day, pandemic or not. Hope House has 250 staff members who leave their homes and families during this time to assist others to be safe and cared for in their home. They are heroes as well. It is our hope that once we have passed through this pandemic and are able to reflect on what we learned and how we have changed, we will remember those who were so essential during this pandemic and realize they always have been.
Here are just a few of the things that our DSPs are doing to go above and beyond their efforts to keep everyone healthy and safe at home. • Making hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes and masks • Getting creative in activities through arts, crafts and cooking • Encouraging safe exercise by riding bikes, going for walks, dance videos • Helping with home repairs and gardening • Keeping in touch with friends and family by phone and video • Teaching how to use personal computers and enhanced technology
Team leader Lynda Perry gives Steve a haircut
Hope House has once again demonstrated extraordinary leadership. We have been able to quickly develop solutions, create plans and adapt to the needs of those we support – teleworking, creating safe work environments, quickly adapting to changes in the way we do business and enforcing new regulations, all while providing essential, caring services to those we support. n Proud Member of the National Association of Direct Support Professionals
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How you can help Due to COVID-19, Hope House’s most significant fundraisers – Stockley Gardens Arts Festival and Feather The Nest – were cancelled. And, the Thrift Shop is temporarily closed. The agency is experiencing significant increases in costs for staffing and much needed personal
protection equipment at a time when revenue is greatly reduced. If you’d like to help, we would welcome your assistance. Please consider making a special donation today. With the passage of the CARES Act of 2020, contributions of up to $300 are tax deductible even if you do not itemize your tax return. It’s a tax savings for you and a big help to those we support. Please visit www.hope-house.org/ donate. We thank you for your continued support. n
Team Leader Kim Rose and Calvin practice social distancing
We know that together, we will prevail. Together in hope.
VIRTUAL May 16-17 Enjoy browsing/purchasing art and listen to bands live stream over the weekend. Visit
~ Walt Whitman
“We were together. I forget the rest.” Hope House is a certified United Way of Hampton Roads agency. Designation #5070 t· 757-625-6161 f· 757-625-7775 Hope-House.org 801 Boush Street Suite 302 Norfolk, VA 23510 Non-Profit Organization US Postage PAID Norfolk, VA Permit #535