On Feb. 14 local nonprofit Hope Services received their best valentine ever: $32,500 from Parking for Hope, our City of Santa Cruz and Downtown Association’s holiday parking program. The much loved nonprofit has helped to keep our downtown streets clean for over 20 years while providing training and support services to adults with developmental disabilities.
A super-sized check was presented by Santa Cruz Vice Mayor David Terrazas to Hope Services staff and workers at last week’s City Council meeting. It represented funds collected from Dec. 18 through 25 in the third annual Parking for Hope program. The usual parking rates applied during these eight days, however, the proceeds from downtown street meters were designated for donation to Hope Services with bright placards. The community responded with generosity as the program collected about $2,500 more in funds than it did last year.
The funds will increase opportunities for workers and help to keep our downtown cleaner, more diverse and welcoming according to Santa Cruz Hope Services Program Manager Sheryl Hageman.
Hope Service’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities as measured by eight indicators: personal development, self-determination, interpersonal relationships, social inclusion, rights, emotional well-being, physical well-being and material well-being.
The nonprofit originated 63 years ago when a group of concerned parents who had children with special needs came together to change the way that young people with developmental disabilities were treated. These courageous parents believed that their kids—who had autism, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, and other related conditions—deserved the same opportunities as everyone else.
Hope Services not only provides employment services for people with developmental disabilities, but also children’s services, day programs, mental health services, community living services and senior services. The organization serves over over 3,900 people and their families in six counties.
Look for Hope Service’s workers next time you are downtown; you will see the nonprofit’s vision to promote a common understanding that the world is a better place when people with disabilities are fully integrated into our community and culture well-reflected and shining.
More information on Hope Services can be found at www.hopeservices.org.
Details regarding Parking for Hope are available at www.cityofsantacruz.com.