In 1972, few people talked about alcoholism or addiction, especially among women. Yet it was in that year, 50 years ago, that a small group of pioneering leaders founded Our Hope to provide a voice for women against these diseases known for shame and silence. This group included women who had dealt with addiction personally, as well as men who had supported women they love on their journeys to recovery.
They came together with the understanding that women need a different kind of treatment, one that provides warmth, empathy and healing. At the time, most alcoholism and addiction treatment programs had been developed by men and tended to be more punitive in nature… an approach that can prove unhelpful, especially for women.
The founding families of Our Hope purchased a gracious Victorian home in the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Services have been offered in this dignified home-like setting ever since. It’s an environment unlike most others in the United States for this kind of treatment, acting as both a sanctuary for women in recovery and a welcoming place for families to visit.
Our Hope continues to be one of the few organizations in the United States offering a 90-day Residential Treatment program designed solely for women. We have also expanded our services to better meet the needs of today's women by offering everything from 90-day Residential Treatment to continuing care resources.
Today, our Board of Trustees and Advisors is comprised of children and grandchildren of the founders as well as other community leaders. We continue to be advised and supported by early directors of Our Hope, and many staff members and volunteers are in recovery themselves, with some being alumnae of Our Hope. In 2010, the Staff and Board went through a process to review and revitalize Our Hope’s brand and services, recognizing the opportunity to reach more women in and beyond West Michigan and continue our legacy of expert, compassionate care. As a result of that process, new services, such as Family Therapy, Yoga and Reiki were added as part of our truly holistic approach to women's recovery. We continue to strive to help women heal in all aspects of their lives--emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially--and will continue to add services over time that contribute to this.
This moment in our history comes as the number of women challenged by alcoholism or addiction is increasing. We not only want to help stop this trend, but we imagine a world where every woman has the opportunity to see for herself that change is possible. We look forward to guiding more women on their very personal journeys to recovery.