What does 2021 hold for HopeWorks?

Holding fast to plans for the new year is a mistake that many of us learned in 2020. Still, the end of the year is a natural time to reflect on the closing chapter and project into the new one. 

Many nonprofits will share this sentiment – the needs we will see among our clients in 2021 will be pandemic-related, somewhat unpredictable and critical. Evolving challenges among our clients present legitimate challenges to nonprofits. Our organizations are filled with people who innately want to step in and solve problems. This complicated conundrum and desire to aid will guide many of HopeWorks’ steps as we walk into 2021. 

HopeWorks will lean into its mission. 

Hope and a job. Those two concepts drive every program at HopeWorks. From Adult Education to our Prison Ministry, our ultimate goal is to help our students find stability through meaningful employment and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Many nonprofits are enticed to expand services because they believe they can help more people. This noble ambition is rooted in a divergence from their mission. Oftentimes, such expansions inhibit the organization’s ability to fully realize its mission, pulling manpower and resources away from established programs. In 2021, HopeWorks will be diligent to expand only in ways that support our original purpose – providing hope that comes with Jesus and support in finding a job.

HopeWorks will work to meet needs. 

While avoiding missional creep, we also want to continue meeting the evolving needs of our students. No programmatic expansions are formally planned for 2021. However, we are regularly evaluating our programming to ensure we’re still helping our students find meaningful employment. 

One constant need is for mentorship in the tenants of the Christian faith. HopeWorks was designed to connect students not only with job readiness skills, but to also share the love and life-restoring truth that comes with following Jesus. Without this component, much of our programming would be incomplete. We will continue to mentor our students in prayer and walk with them in faith.

We know that there are opportunities for growth in some of our programs, especially the prison ministry and AESL program. Our dedicated teams committed to these students will work throughout 2021 to make progress that will enhance the student experience. 

HopeWorks will accommodate changes among its clients. 

Without expanding, we can strengthen our existing programs. Most recently, this meant transitioning some of our classes to online learning programs. This shift was a challenging one for our team but was made possible through hard work and innovative thinking. The impact it had on our students was life-changing. It allowed adults in Memphis to finish their high school degree, secure internships and gain workforce understanding that will benefit their future career. 

HopeWorks will continue to meet the current needs of our students. As we’re able, we will make changes that provide more equitable access to our services and programs.