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Hopeline Celebrates 40 Years of Service

“It takes a lot of people to build a history.”

- Patricia Youngblood, Hopeline Executive Director 1981-2015

As we reflect on our forty year history, Albemarle Hopeline would like to thank all of the volunteers, board members, staff, donors, community partners, and others who have contributed to the sustainability of our mission.

The following contributions are from just a few of the individuals who have contributed to Hopeline’s mission, as they reflect on the agency’s history and growth over four decades.

"Albemarle Hopeline has a stellar history of fiscal management illustrated by our strong annual audit results. Our finances have come from federal, state and local grants and the generosity of our donors. Albemarle Hopeline and Hopeline’s Clothesline Thrift Store have maintained financial stability over the years due to successful grant writing, strict fiscal oversight, ethical business practices, and excellent staff. The underpinnings of our success are our donors, volunteers, local governments, partner agencies and grantees. We realize your belief in us has weighed heavily in our forty years of success addressing domestic violence and sexual assault. We cannot thank you enough. We will continue to work hard to maintain your trust!"

Susan Scurria, Board of Directors President 2014-2017, 2021

"What a long way Albemarle Hopeline and our six-county area have come... from single night hotel stays, pieced together with so little funds, to a small shelter with a couple of dedicated staff members and amazing volunteers, our community began to see the need for DV/SA services. As the need for shelter space and additional services grew, Hopeline expanded to a house on Main Street, however neighbors and others still did not quickly accept the higher visibility in our sleepy little corner of NC.  Yet still the need for services grew and therefore Albemarle Hopeline did as well! We really have come so far, to a shelter facility now that can accommodate so many families comfortably & securely. The expansion of services so that each of our six counties have staff that are dedicated to those individual community needs is so vital to reaching all victims. 

We once faced a time where law enforcement would ignore requests to collaborate, to present time, where they initiate the collaboration! The addition of the “Power to Improve” program and the Hispanic outreach program have allowed us to impact so many other individuals. The expansion of professional counseling services has continued to provide needed healing for survivors of violence in our community. I believe the most important piece has been the continued growth of our educational and outreach services.

If we as a collective community continue to educate our youth, that they can and should have the expectation to live a life free from violence, we will come to a place in time where the need for our services will start to decline. For those who have been with the agency as staff members and volunteers, this will be the greatest accomplishment!!"

Power to Improve Coordinator, Hopeline Employee 1999 - present

"Picture this: A small space at the bottom of the stairs, converted into a makeshift clothing closet, contained bags, boxes, and one free-standing rack.  Picture shelter residents and staff rummaging through the mountain of clothes, hoping to locate the correct sizes. 

Thanks to the vision and dedication of the agency’s first Executive Director and Board of Directors, the opening of Hopeline’s Clothesline Thrift Store was a “Game Changer.”  Prior to HLCL, families exiting Hope House and moving into housing units would require many community contacts to secure adequate household furnishings, including kitchenware, linens, and furniture.  For added safety, clients can shop before store opening or after closing.  In addition, the thrift store generates revenue, contributing to Hope House operations."

Director of Residential Services, Hopeline Employee 1988 – present

"As Albemarle Hopeline commemorates its 40th year of services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse, it seems appropriate to reflect on the mission and vision of this non-profit. Certainly the founding mothers knew little of what would develop over the years when they first met in 1981. They only knew that women and families were often in danger and they needed to do something to make our community a safer place to live. With this idea as an initial foundation for change, they, and countless more brave dedicated people, volunteered, strategized and sacrificed as they carved out a multi-county non-profit designed to decrease violence, strengthen individuals and families and ultimately save lives.

The road over this 40 year history has often been difficult, challenging and even disappointing at times; however, as we reflect on our history one absolute rises above all others: There are women, men and children in our community who are living safe, non-violent lives as the result of these services. Ultimately, this 40 year commitment has made a difference, and in the extreme has saved lives. Admittedly, there is more to be done, but lessons from our past coupled with hope for the future will continue to ensure safety for those yet to courageously seek change." 

Patricia Youngblood, Hopeline Executive Director 1981 – 2015

"I have been honored to be a part of the important work at Hopeline for so many years.  The services that are provided to the community continue to be a lifeline for so many who are suffering from the trauma of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Where would victims turn for the kind of help we provide if not for this agency? Our mission remains the same but our services have expanded over the years.  It is wonderful as a service provider to be able to tell a victim that we can help alleviate the financial and emotional distress they are experiencing.  The help we have given has made the difference in their family’s very survival. 

There are so many dedicated people in Hopeline’s history that have facilitated its success…too many to name.  They are all a part of the greater community of caring people who have served to make Hopeline one of the best Domestic Violence agencies in the state."

Direct Service Provider, Hopeline employee 2001 – present

"I remember becoming very interested in Hopeline after I heard a presentation in one of my undergraduate college classes about the dynamics of domestic violence and the services Hopeline offered.  That presentation resonated with me long after I heard it.  Loretta Walz was the presenter.  She was working at Hopeline at the time and later on became a Board member.   I then met Pat Youngblood at an ECSU social work reunion and talked to her about what I wanted to do in the future as a social worker.  She had a lot of good advisement.  I started work at Hopeline in August of 2000 as a direct service provider.  I completed my Master’s in 2002 and Pat supervised me throughout the provisional licensing period.  I later became a therapist and then a director.   

I learned a tremendous amount at Hopeline in those first years and I still learn new things many days even after 21 years at the agency.  I often think back to hearing that presentation and the impact it had on me. I think about how many people I myself have impacted over the years through presentations, crisis line, and therapy sessions.  I learned from Pat that the most basic skill of listening is one of the most important when working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.  You may not see that client again or you may see them two or three years later.  Taking the time to listen and being a support means a lot in a time of need.  This has been proven to me over the years as survivors have returned or I have seen them out in public.  They often say I remember you being there for me and I still remember the things you said to me that day.  Being able to help survivors in this way has been very rewarding and humbling.  

Hopeline has changed and grown during the time I have been working here, but that basic philosophy remains the same for me.  Hopeline is an enduring organization and provides a wonderful service to the public and I hope that continues for years to come."

Associate Director, Hopeline Employee 2000 - present

"Of course, we all know that the ultimate goal would be to eradicate all forms of domestic and sexual assaults. However, we do not live in a perfect world; therefore, forty years ago the founders of Albemarle Hopeline realized a real need.

Their plan began with a hotline served by volunteers. Today, the organization has a director, a host of certified staff members and a shelter to provide a safe haven for victims. So, sometimes a vision or a dream can come to fruition and rise up against the unthinkable and conquer evil. To me, that has been the intended mission of Albemarle Hopeline."

Doris Hawkins, former Hopeline Board Member and President

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