With support from Inova Loudoun Hospital, Mobile Hope has become its own nonprofit, a pending 501(c)(3) organization.
In 2011, Mobile Hope began under the Community Affairs Department of Inova Loudoun Hospital. It was originally intended as a wellness outreach specifically for children who were homeless or precariously housed in Loudoun County. Over the years, Mobile Hope has expanded beyond its original concept. Mobile Hope now provides clothing, food, educational items, toys, as well as health and wellness information and more for this at-risk population.
Currently, over 900 students were identified by Loudoun County Public School’s Mckinney Vento Program as being homeless or precariously housed. Nearly 30 percent of these young people do not have a parent or legal guardian in their lives.
“We believe that the program will need broader community support to continue to address this issue. Given the community need and significant community interest, Donna Fortier has worked with Inova to establish Mobile Hope as a stand-alone community outreach program,” Rod Williams, Inova Health System's vice-president of community affairs said.
In addition to $50,000 start up funding, Inova has also donated the original Mobile Health unit bus to Mobile Hope. Inova has also committed to support funding of $150,000 over the next two years to ensure a smooth transition.
“I’m grateful for Inova’s support and for the donation of the bus. We are looking forward to expanding our program to meet the growing and changing needs of this vulnerable population. We hope to build a facility to not only support and teach, but to house many of our homeless teens who are aging out of the youth shelters,” said Fortier, Mobile Hope executive director and founder.
In addition to Inova, Mobile Hope partners with the Loudoun County Public Schools, the faith community, police, government officials, businesses, youth organizations, health officials and community leaders and members to create ways for these children to receive basic, necessary essentials.
Mobile Hope offers bi-monthly private shopping nights, typically serving over 200 children. The organization also makes weekly visits to select locations throughout Loudoun and helps anywhere from 30-80 kids each time the bus goes out. Since it’s inception, over 3,000 children have been helped.
“I want all of the children we help to have access to life’s necessities, things that many in our community may take for granted. Our hope is that we’ll continue to make a difference in their lives and that this program will become a model for others to follow. While I know Mobile Hope is meeting current needs, we are still in desperate need of financial contributions to ensure this program can grow and is sustainable, as too many children are now relying on us,” said Fortier.
For more information about Mobile Hope visit http://www.mobilehopeloudoun.org
or call 703-771-1400.