HOPE Services is now being built on hope.
On Oct. 27, founder and CEO of the Wesley Chapel-based nonprofit Cindy Bray welcomed friends, family and residents to come write inspiring scriptures and well wishes on the two-by-four beams that will eventually support the organization’s Life Skills and Vocational Training Center in Land O’ Lakes.
The facility, at 5426 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., tentatively opens in February, and will provide training services to those with disabilities in the fields of construction, retail, culinary arts, hospitality, computer skills and general GED education.
Bray founded HOPE Services in 2003 to help individuals with disabilities secure and maintain meaningful, competitive and integrated employment.
“It was inspired by my daughter, Danica, who lives with disabilities,” Bray said, “and she needed help with services to become employable and before I knew it, I became a job coach, and being a job coach led to providing more and more services, and it led to all of this.”
This new, upcoming facility will be the first for HOPE Services, which will be open to anyone with disabilities looking to join the job force. According to HOPE services, people with disabilities are an overlooked and underused talent pool who are available, flexible and motivated. The training center will now be able to provide these potential employees with the skills needed to be hirable.
HOPE Services provides vocational evaluations, work incentive planning and assistance, on-the-job training, psychotherapy, employment services, pre-employment transition services and supported employment.
These services are provided, at no charge, as HOPE Services’ funding comes entirely from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Once a candidate is eligible to receive services from VR or the Agency, the candidate must ask to be referred to HOPE Services, which immediately begins processing them as a client.
While based in Wesley Chapel, and soon Land O’ Lakes, HOPE Services also serves Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas, Polk and Citrus counties.
“This is our first life-skills center, and we want to open it up to the community,” Bray said. “We’ll teach them construction, we’ll teach them computer skills, culinary arts, retail, hospitality — all so they can get a job.
“And with (people writing on the two-by-fours), I wanted everyone to have ownership of the building, and give God the glory — that’s just me!”
For more information about HOPE Services, visit HopeGetsJobs.com.
Published November 02, 2022