Happy 2nd Birthday Hope Street! The Story Continues...

What a blessing to have been able to celebrate for Hope Street DE’s 2nd Birthday!

We were able to give back to the community of Wilmington on “Community Clean-up day” this past Saturday April 21st. Making the area safer and cleaner for the children to play. It was so meaningful and right for such a special day. As I was pulling out a weed that was so deeply rooted, I looked up and saw the beautiful sun setting and noticed the birds chirping. My shoulders relaxed and I started to get a bit emotional. I felt peace and joy in my heart. ‘The God thing...’ Just a knowing that I was right where I was supposed to be and that I was just another “Average Joe” cleaning up the yard and was completely ok with that. I was in the community that I love and doing something for the people I love. Then, neighbors started coming by and asking about Hope Street and telling me their own personal stories of addiction and hope.  Wow!  It’s the little things that make the biggest impact sometimes. Little things are important. Hope Street DE has made it possible for me to give back in innovative ways and has helped me heal through empowerment and challenging tasks. These challenges have made it necessary and have required me to develop a sense of humor.

As I look back at what has been accomplished and what more needs to be accomplished, I Feel hopeful and positive.  There are so many people that have helped along the way and continue to help.  My family has been a strong supporter.  My friends, our first responders, the Town of Newport and even our state legislators have shown valuable support for the organization and movement. 

Hope Street DE’s initial motivation was to give a female voice to the addiction crisis in Delaware, especially advocating for residential housing for women, young moms and young families.

Being in recovery for a period of time, I started to become overwhelmed with the amount of young women that were not getting sufficient care for their addiction. Then pregnant women started showing up to anonymous 12 step meetings for serious help and unmet needs. That was the last straw.  I could not understand why they were not being treated in a proper environment.  A medical environment with trained professionals. These beautiful women had histories of domestic violence and prostitution and they were trapped in the recidivism of addiction. What shocked me even more was the way these women were treated when they did call and ask for help.  They were treated like “trash” and were made to feel like they did not matter. This condition continues to sadden me.  We need more holistic professional standards in the addiction recovery world.

12 step meetings are for ,just that, the 12 steps.  These women that were showing up were bruised, battered and traumatized.  The 12 step meeting the woman’s abuser is sitting in may not be the best environment for her. She has medical care needs and would benefit from intensive counseling. She also needs healthy females to help model new and healthy behaviors.  Where do you find females in the community that understand and are willing to help? A place that is welcoming and non-stigmatizing.  Hope Street DE would be a perfect place. But ideas that require space and facility maintanence are quite expensive. So, Hope Street must continue to fundraiser, so we can achieve our wildest dreams which include a 3,500-5,000 square foot sanctuary.

Another motivator for Hope Street was the amount of young women that were coming for help that were Homeless.  At the End of the day, everyone needs a home. Everyone wants a safe place to rest their head and a place to to hang their hat and maybe even WiFi to be able to stay in contact with family and friends or further their education. That is why housing is the KEY ingredient to any holistic care model for addiction. This does not mean incarceration. To be clear, there is a difference between a house and a home and people that feel like they are involved and included in decision making and have some responsiblility. TRUST is going to be a growing pain for all of us. But it is only with trust that we can move forward together and become a more attractive Delaware for family and business and recreation.

Currently, Hope Street is on the street.  We are advocating, educating, learning, giving back to the community, holding events, honoring our first responders, breaking stigmas and setting precedent.  Who would have thought a girl who couldn’t stop drinking or using drugs would be reflecting in a park in Wilmington about her recovery and her blessings and just so thankful to be pulling weeds on the birthday of a company she helped found.

Hope Street DE is a company that cares about the underserved, the forgotten, the poor, the voiceless, the children in our communities and Delaware’s Economic growth.  Addiction affects us all, so we must take a whole new approach to the disease of addiction. It requires a Motley Crew to help solve this problem.  No ordinary measure will suffice. Groups and Organizations will either step up and speak up or step aside and get out of the way.  This is too important to waste another moment on bureaocracy.  

We celebrate!  We celebrate life and liberty. We fight for what’s right and press forward through the mission, which is to give families a blueprint to recovery in Delaware. In holistic care approach models, trauma-informed care and community involvement is the key. Bridging the gap to trauma-informed care staff, employers, community leaders and our government has been “interesting” to say the least. We must unlearn some practices we have known for decades. This is no easy task, but in the end, we will have the advantage. We will have strong, educated, loving and thoughtful children that will live with integrity and help people who are hurt.  Healthy relationships is a cornerstone to a healthy economy. It leads to prosperous partnerships, new inventions and investments, ground breaking and timeless artwork and the finest education models which is good for everyone. 

Hope is BOLD! And her motto is to #NEVERGIVEUP! 

This is not an overnight fix. It’s a lifelong commitment to recovery. Embracing people where they are and understanding everyone has a story. Setting aside our differences, prejudices and bias to invest in the future of the Delaware Economy, Health and Well-being is the right thing to do and will pay dividends for years to come. 

It has got to start somewhere, let it begin with us.