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in this issue p2 Simply Life Changing p3 What Home Means p4 Eyes of Hope p6 Changes to ABLE p7 VEER Music Awards volume 27/#1 • winter 2017

Inocencio Albrincoles Wins National Direct Service Award “Inocencio’s positive behavior support skills have been life-changing for the individuals he serves”

Inocencio Albrincoles has received the Direct Support Professional Award for Excellence by the National Association for the Dually Diagnosed. The award is given to an individual whose dedication, advocacy, compassion, competence, person-centered approaches and collaboration result in improved quality of life, health and wellness, and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs. The award was presented at the NADD 33rd Annual Conference & Exhibit in Ontario, Canada. Inocencio has been a direct support professional with Hope House Foundation for almost seven years. Over this time, he has proven to be a true leader in the field. He modifies his approach based on the individual needs of the people he supports. He is a trained Sexuality, Abuse, Friendship Education (SAFE) staff member who assists the individuals served with support in developing relationships and dealing with issues that can cause risk to their physical and emotional well-being. His knowledge and experience have been an inspiration to his coworkers and colleagues. “Inocencio’s positive behavior support skills have been life changing for the individuals he serves,” said Lynne Seagle, executive director of Hope House Foundation. “He always advocates

for the needs, wants, health and safety of these individuals. And, he continually brings new and innovative techniques and strategies to implement outstanding service delivery.” His most remarkable work began in 2013 when

an individual diagnosed with autism, mild intellectual disability, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and DiGeorge syndrome chose to be supported by Hope House Foundation. This individual had previously resided in group homes and institutions, and there was uncertainty as to how he would adapt to living in his own apartment due to the need for intense behavior support. But thanks to Inocencio’s development of a personalized service and behavioral support plan, the individual just celebrated his three-year anniversary of living in his own apartment. Inocencio helped him reach this milestone through persistence, insight, empathy, optimism and advocacy.

From the Executive Director

The Partnership Between a Direct Support Professional and a Person with Disability is Simply Life Changing. “One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way” —Vincent Van Gogh Twenty-two years ago, Hope House Foundation set a course that would inspire our journey to this day. At the time, the idea of supporting people with disabilities to live in their own homes instead of group homes and facilities seemed to be a modest one. We believed that by placing people with disabilities smack dab in the center of all we do—that center being the power and control over their own lives—would alter our perceptions of the people we support and enhance our communities. This has proven to be true to a large extent. We have learned to partner with people with disabilities. The people we support are encouraged to make choices, plot their own course and pursue their dreams. There are countless examples where the partnership between a direct support professional and a person with a disability creates is simply life changing. These partnerships

Think about how you make friends, get included and belong; it’s hard for many of us to describe, but we know in our heart it is essential to happiness. create moments of life filled with opportunity, confidence and learning. When people tell us that our work is important and needed, they are right, but it’s these moments often gone unseen that is really the soul of our work. To live safely in your own home and on your own terms is just one aspect, though a vital one toward inclusion and belonging. A number of people we support enjoy rich lives that include diverse friendships and loving families. They have jobs that promote value and increased economic security. It is in essence social justice, where we, Hope House, serve in the background, providing just the right amount of assistance for someone’s dreams to become reality. Yet we also support people who desire friends in their lives but have few or none. They want someone to call them up and say, “Let’s catch a movie” or “How about dinner tonight?”

Someone who shares similar interests and can say things like, “I feel exactly the same way.” For the people we support in this situation, we are in the forefront of their lives; it is the staff that fills the role of friendship. We know we must do more to help people figure out the art of connection. And it is an art. Think about how you make friends, get included and belong; it’s hard for many of us to describe, but we know in our heart it is essential to happiness. I read recently that a house keeps us safe and rooted, but a home is where happiness lives. That’s our mission for everyone we support: to not just have a house to live in but a home to laugh, socialize and share with others. So as we move through this winter season, I urge you to consider the wisps of smoke you may be passing by — because underneath there is a blaze of individuality, talent and contribution that could just change your life as well.

“A house is no home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as for the body” – Margaret Fuller

Lynne Seagle

Comments from the audience:

Dear Lynne, Just finished listening to you. What a fantastic speaker! You are very upbeat, honest and passionate about service to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as teaching others how to focus on the desires of the individuals receiving support. ——Blissful Birch Care Coordination, Alaska


“Appreciate the awesome perspective and new vision of support services. I hope that my agency is willing to embrace the risk needed to make this happen and the ability to see that investing in the direct care professionals as the most important.” “Reminding me of WHY we do the work and how important “community connectors” are!!”

“Humor kept me interested and entertained. As with all humor – typically based on uncomfortable truth. The ‘realness’ of this presentation was impactful.” “Extremely interesting approach to inclusion and community with the people who experience a disability.”

What Home Means To Me Lonnie has the freedom to choose his furry friend and provides a loving home to Dusty.

What’s for dinner? Eunice makes this choice for herself every evening. Lori expresses herself through her music, and we all benefit from her creativity.

Danny knows that his keys hold the power to community inclusion.

“Where we love is home— home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.


2nd Annual Sertoma Fall Fest Taste of the Town

The Eyes of Hope

Members of Norfolk Sertoma enjoy Fall Fest.

Photos: Jason Amato


Hope House Foundation– proud to be a partner.

Dr. Mary Martin was the judge of fall show.

2016 Stockley Gardens Fall Arts Festival

Letitia Lee—Ed Carson Memorial Award Winner

Amanda Outcalt—The Melayna/Sophia 2nd Place Winner— with prize sponsor Robert Roman of Decorum furniture and Larry Guynn.

Photos: Howard Rodman

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home” ––Matsuo Basho


Spotlight Meet Donna Hi, my name is Donna and I live in my own apartment. Hope House staff assists with daily cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and many other independent skills. Hope House also supports people to be safe while in the community. Hope House Foundation is not an institution or a group home. People live in a regular neighborhood with others in the community. Hope House Foundation is the best of its kind. Not only do people gain more independence, they are able to live in their own apartment and are allowed to make their own choices and have their own things of interest. Also, people are allowed to make their own choices for what they eat and where they want to go. I recommend Hope House Foundation to anyone who has a disability. Donna Smith

The Sertoma Club of Norfolk partnered with Hope House Foundation for the 2nd Annual Fall Fest—Taste of the Town on October 22. The event featured Hampton Roads restaurants and local craft beers and wine. Guests purchased tickets for the event, which allowed them to taste samples from 15 restaurants and enjoy an afternoon with live music. More than 350 attended, and the event raised $8,000.00 for Hope House Foundation.

Changes coming to the ABLE Act? By Brian Boys, Attorney with Atlantic Law, PLC

My article in the spring 2016 newsletter introduced the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. While we are still waiting for the final implementation of the ABLE Act in Virginia, three amendments to the Act are currently being considered by Congress: 1) The ABLE to Work Act: Under current law, disabled workers are able to save $14,000 per year in an ABLE account. This proposed change would allow a beneficiary to save an additional approximately $12,000 from employment compensation, allowing the individual to save additional money for their disability-related expenses. The additional amount would only be allowed if the beneficiary is not already participating in an employer retirement plan. 2) The ABLE Age Adjustment Act: Currently, only individuals who became disabled prior to the age of 26 are eligible to open an ABLE account. This proposal would raise the age limit for ABLE accounts to 46, opening up the opportunity to save to those who may become disabled later in life. 3) The ABLE Financial Planning Act: Parents who save money for a child in a 529 college savings plan are limited to spending the money on college expenses, or face tax penalties for doing otherwise. If the child later suffers a severe disability and is unable to attend college, current law provides no flexibility to spend this money for other needs. This act would allow money previously saved in a 529 account to be rolled over tax-free and without penalty to an ABLE account, subject to the current $14,000 contribution limit.


Veer Music Awards Join us Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Naro Expanded Theater in Ghent. The Music Awards recognize the talents of musicians in Hampton Roads, and the show will be produced in a fashion similar to the Grammy Awards. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door. Also, advance tickets are on sale at Belmont House of Smoke, Colley Cantina, Cogan’s Pizza and Cogan’s North Pizza for $10. Proceeds from the event benefit Hope House Foundation.

During Family Volunteer Day, TowneBank staff decorated Hope House’s administrative offices, and Volunteer Hampton Roads donated boxes of food to the people we support. Thanks for sharing the JOY!

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home. ”

Theatre Lives! A Review by John Waff

Have you heard The Buzz? The Buzz is produced by the people Hope House supports. See previous articles at


I recently took a trip to Richmond to see The Lion King Broadway musical. I had fun while I was there and I liked that my seats were close to the stage. My favorite part was watching all of the animals sing and dance. I liked listening to the music and singing along with the songs. After the show ended, I purchased a Lion King T-shirt as a souvenir. I loved my trip to see The Lion King and I would like to go again.

Hope House Foundation Board of Directors Joshua Harris, President Anne Standing, Vice President Janet Davis-Merlo, Secretary Jonathan Gray, Treasurer Dorothy Clark Matthew Fine Pam Katrancha Whitney Katz Shannon Layman-Pecoraro Pete Leddy

Richard C. Mapp III Tom McCune, M.D. Peggy Meder Thomas Moss III Jeff Parker Grey Persons Jacqueline Schillereff DiAna White Lynne Seagle, Executive Director

20% off any purchase with this ad—Thru 3/31/17 1800 Monticello Avenue • Norfolk Mon–Sat, 10am–6pm


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Norfolk, VA Permit #535

801 Boush Street Suite 302 Norfolk, VA 23510 757-625-6161 757-625-7775 fax Hope House is a certified United Way of Hampton Roads agency. Designation #5070

winter 2017


Be our friend!

Feb 8 VEER Music Awards. Wednesday, February 8, 6 – 9 p.m., Naro on Colley Ave., Norfolk Mar 10 Shamrockin’ in Ghent. Celebrate the luck of the Irish at Ghent’s St. Patrick’s Day street party when we close Colley Avenue from Shirley to Gates Avenues from 6 to 10 p.m. for a great party and awesome bands! This event is free and open to the public.

Mar 31 Feather the Nest. 6 p.m. The 5th Annual Feather the Nest will be held at KDW Home and Shades of Light in Virginia Beach. The music and food event draws hundreds of people who bring gifts and home décor items for the over 120 people supported by Hope House Foundation.

Visit to find out about the thrift store’s daily and biweekly deals!

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