H.O.P.E. House History

By | July 22, 2015
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H.O.P.E. House (a Trans Safe House from 2008-2012)
Phoenix, Arizona

H.O.P.E. House (Healing, Opportunity, Promise, Empowerment) was the first known Trans Safe House established in Phoenix, Arizona, providing a safe home, and also transitional housing to trans men and women needing a safe place to live. H.O.P.E. House is not a Recovery House or Sober-Living house.

H.O.P.E. House was conceived by Michael and Lillian Brown in 2008 when they recognized the need for a Safe House for trans men and women. There are those in crisis, homeless (or soon to be), abusive situations, others who move into the state to begin, or continue, their transition, others are hurting financially due to job discrimination, loss of employment, evictions, etc. No one who needs a safe place to stay will ever be turned away due to lack of money.

H.O.P.E. House took in its first transperson who had nowhere to spend the night in October 2008. The “House” at that time was simply a one-bedroom apartment with a couch for the guest.

Over the years, the need for H.O.P.E. House grew rapidly as the needs were realized. The “House” was moved first to a two-bedroom apartment, then to a four bedroom house in June 2009. In September 2010, Michael and Lillian purchased a large 5 bedroom home and immediately added two more bedrooms, making a total of 7 bedrooms, to accommodate the growing need for safe housing in the trans community.

Since it’s inception, H.O.P.E. House served over 3711 bed nights through March 21, 2012. The House comfortably accommodated 8-10 Residents as well as the homeowners, (in private and semi-private rooms) and there were an additional two beds in the form of sleeper sofas when there was a need, as well as extra couches if, and when, needed.

There was a private swimming pool, large fenced-in yard and patio, pool table, darts, ping pong, and horseshoes, as well as big screen TV’s, and wireless internet with a House computer for job hunting and research available to all the residents.

H.O.P.E. House provided a customized experience for each Resident, providing temporary Work Exchange for those who were unemployed, as well as assistance with therapists who worked with H.O.P.E. House Residents, social services referrals, and mentoring. Classes, workshops, groups and meetings, as well as a Job Search Plan of Action, were all a part of the Program at H.O.P.E. House.

H.O.P.E. House was largely funded by Michael & Lillian, except for occasional donations.

H.O.P.E. House closed September, 2012. There were several factors involved in the decision to close the home, but it was not an easy decision. Michael’s and Lillian’s hearts will always be with H.O.P.E. House and the people they were able to help.

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The homelessness situation in the trans community all over the U.S. needs addressed. Please consider opening your home to someone in our community who needs a safe place to live.