Hope Enterprises: 64 years of compassion

Hope Enterprises has been serving people of all ages with all abilities for nearly 64 years through residential assistance, group programs, vocational training and many other programs. The non-profit organization has grown since Dr. Max E. Miller, his wife and other parents who wanted to provide services for their children with special needs in 1952, Jim Campbell president of Hope said. Then there were no facilities, staff or transportation but they put the work in and the organization has continued to prosper from there, he said. Now they provide services to hundreds of people across seven counties. Through all of the work Hope does to help people with special needs, their goal is to develop their abilities and help them become comfortable in the community as well as provide education to the public. “The biggest impact for the individuals we serve is what we can offer them and bring to the community,” Carol Drumheiser, vice president of residential services, said. Everybody should look at people as people, she said. The two largest programs offered are residential services and day programs. Within residential services there are three options depending on what will best suite the needs of the individual receiving care. There are group homes, community supports program and life sharing program. There are dozens of group homes across their coverage area that house 150 people with different levels of need, Drumheiser said. Homes range between three to six individuals in co-ed and gender specific environments. “There are people we totally take care of and some are independent,” she said. Being in a home where there is a caretaker and other people with similar abilities, they are able to increase their level of independence become more integrated into the community, she said. “There are folks that don’t have anyone else,” Drumheiser said. “We are their family.” The community supports program has 160 participants who are taken into the community three times a week to do different activities such as grocery shopping, banking or going to the movies, she said. The program is to help them maintain and develop their everyday life skills. The life sharing program is similar to foster care but more permanent, she said. It is a long term living arrangement where an individual lives with a family. There are 11 families participating in the program. One of the families took guardianship of the person who lived with them for over a decade, Drumheiser said. Hope also provides day programming for people ranging from vocational training and employment readiness to a preschool and social skills training. For job training staff will work with small groups to learn custodial work as well as volunteer at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Lycoming County SPCA, Rob Labatch, vice president of day programs, said. “We want to get them out in the community and to be comfortable in their surroundings,” Labatch said. “We want to utilize what they can do.” Through their children’s programs there is a preschool that works with children of all abilities and the Children’s Development Center in Williamsport and Danville that provides a variety of therapy options. During the day programs at the 2401 Reach Road location, people work in groups to learn social skills, play games and exercise in their fitness center. For more information visit hopeability.org or call 570-326-3745.