On January 4th, I celebrated 20 years as CEO of Community of Hope. A lot has happened in that time, both professionally and personally. I have been reflecting on my first few days at Community of Hope – when we had about 30 staff, a budget of about $1.5 million and a lot of financial instability. Our one health center was serving about 2,000 patients and our housing program served about 30 families at a time at two locations.
Please review below to read through some commonly asked questions and answers about the vaccine.
1. How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
2. How many shots do I need to get for it to work?
3. Is the vaccine safe to take?
4. What are common side effects?
5. Were people of color included in the vaccine trial?
Diamond Wilson is an incredibly hard-working mother of five 5 young children. “I love being a mom! When I’m in sad situations, they [my children] help me. To see their little faces is a blessing.” Diamond had grown up with unstable housing. “During my childhood, we were in and out of transitional housing, shelters, the whole list. I didn’t know I could do better, and when I grew up, I had the mindset that I could always move. We didn’t have anywhere to go, and I didn’t see light at the end of the tunnel.”
I write today with the sad news that Rev. Tom Nees, a dear friend, mentor, and, most importantly, the visionary behind Community of Hope, passed away on January 24, 2021. In the twenty years that I have led the organization that he founded, I have enjoyed countless conversations with this gentle, wise, and bold leader. I have learned from him and with him. He has modeled graceful leadership at every point and I, countless staff, board members, volunteers, and the Washington, DC community have been shaped by his influence and decades of service.
Congratulations to Community of Hope's 2021 Mentor of the Year, Simon Mosbah!
Simon and his mentee, Terrence, were matched in April 2018 and have shared countless unique and exciting experiences ever since. Simon is a native of France, so he knows first-hand how delightful exploring a new city can be!
By: Kelly Sweeney McShane President and CEO of Community of Hope
In 2015, Community of Hope created the Tom Nees Award for Exceptional Service to recognize its recipient for their long-standing, deeply-impacting service to the women, men, and children who turn to Community of Hope for help. This year, we are presenting this award posthumously to J. Yost Conner, Jr.
Kenya Costley had always envisioned the perfect future—becoming a nurse and traveling the world. But, after the passing of her beloved father—everything immediately changed. She was faced with the challenges of unstable housing. While dealing with grief, unemployment, and the bills of her father’s estate, Kenya had no choice but to move in with her partner and later became pregnant. “It was very saddening because I didn’t see my life like that. I couldn’t raise a child at 18.”
By: Tom Nees, Founder of Community of Hope
Forty years ago, as the Community of Hope was evolving from a small group of believers committed to joining with the neighborhood development needs near the so-called, 14th Street NW Riot Corridor in Washington, DC. And we needed a name to capture the vision and the motivation of our mission.
Dan Hooks’ experience with Community of Hope came full circle this year when—after already being a patient at our Conway Health and Resource Center since 2016—he moved into an apartment with support from our housing team.
When he became a patient, Community of Hope diagnosed Dan with high blood pressure that needed management.
Maya Brice is a woman of hope. This DC native and single mother of three sought a fresh start in Missouri. After experiencing hard times and years of struggling to try to make it on her own, she and her kids moved in with a friend. Unfortunately, Maya’s monthly rent contribution was mishandled by her friend, and Maya chose to move her family into an extended stay hotel. The usual monthly rent became a weekly hotel bill. Maya shares that at that moment she had to ask herself, “Is this the best situation for me and my kids?” and concluded that it was not.