Hopes Journey: Filling a need in the community
New business will provide skills, training for people with disabilities seeking independence
When Kelsey Csergei Habig saw a need locally, she decided to fill it.
I started Hopes Journey because I saw a great need for adults with disabilities after they aged out of the public school system at 21 years old, especially in Yamhill County (and) including Sherwood as well, Csergei Habig said. There are many programs available for this special population out in the Portland area, but not this direction.
Hopes Journey is a nonprofit aiming to provide services helping individuals with disabilities live on their own, become self-sufficient and improve their job skills.
Our mission at Hopes Journey is we believe that everyone was created for a reason and wants to have a purpose in life, she said. We encourage independent living in individual adults with disabilities through training, employment, education, housing, social opportunities and daily living skills.
She said after knowing people with disabilities who once flourished in the school system face losing those resources after aging out, she decided to do something about it in 2010.
This is no way for anyone to live, everyone wants purpose and sitting at home rotting away is a travesty in my eyes, she said.
The center will offer job skills training as well as living skills, including cooking, laundry, cleaning, budgeting and using public transportation.
My hope is that Hopes Journey will be a blessing to the community and people engaged in it, she said. I want people to see how important and valuable this population is and that we all deserve a chance to live an independent life and contribute to society. I hope to build partnerships within the community that will help everyone grow.
Although shes made a lot of progress toward opening the center, a few things remain before she can start helping clients.
Opening up Hopes Journey has definitely been a longer process than I anticipated. I knew it would be a long road but its been much more challenging than I thought, Csergei Habig said. From start to finish the paperwork for the nonprofit status took six months to fill out and then another six months to get our approval from the government. After that was a very interesting and long road to figuring out what steps I needed to take to get approval from the state to offer services to adults with disabilities.
But she said she was able to connect with other day programs and find a mentor to help her along the way. Currently, Hopes Journey is awaiting state licensing to operate as an Alternative to Employment program, which would allow them to offer their services, and receive payment from the county and state.
In the meantime we fundraise, she said. We do fundraisers to obviously raise funds for Hopes Journey, but many of them dont bring in a ton of money, so our main goal is to continue to create awareness of Hopes Journey within the community and let people know that even though we arent operating yet we are still moving forward.
She said this work is her passion and believes her purpose is to work with people with disabilities.
They have impacted and blessed my life as much as I might have helped theirs and I want people to experience that as well, Csergei Habig said.
Hopes Journey looks to open by September 2014. For more information, visit www.hopesjourney.org.