Hillsborough County has HOPE for Justice!

HOPE is a multi-issue, grassroots, community organization consisting of 23 multicultural and interfaith member congregations throughout Hillsborough County, Florida.
HOPE’s mission is to promote justice, fairness, and the dignity of people — by engaging and training community members to effectively act together to achieve long term resolution to serious community problems impacting our families and neighbors.

What we’re currently working on:

KidsInPrisonCivil Citation/Arrest Avoidance Programs for Children

Too many children are being arrested for first time misdemeanors in Hillsborough County and Florida. HOPE is organizing to reduce the arrests of children by getting decision makers to expand the use of the Civil Citation Program in our county and the state of Florida.  Read more…

becky-turner-and-familyLocal Affordable Housing Fund for families with low incomes

The current high cost of housing overburdens and stresses the economic livelihood, stability, and security of working families, veterans, and seniors with low incomes in our county. HOPE is organizing to establish a Hillsborough Affordable Housing Trust Fund with a designated public funding source to meet  the critical housing needs of tens of thousands of families.  We got the county to allot $5.125 million for the construction and rehab of more affordable housing in the 2019 County Budget.  Read more…                 

 Increasing Access to Elder Care

Hillsborough County senior population has seen the greatest percentage growth of all age groups. However, home-based and community-based services, which allow seniors to live with dignity and independence, have decreased significantly. These services include door-to-door transportation to grocery stores and doctor visits and aides to help with basic home chores and personal care. The decrease of these services will be a worsening problem, as the population of seniors ages 60+ is expected to nearly double by 2040. HOPE is organizing to expand these services. We got the county to allot $3 million to the Department of Aging Services to increase in-home services. Since December 2017, over 1,900 additional seniors have been served.


HOPE 2019 Listening ProcessAugust 26 – October 28, 2019 –  Engage in conversations with members, friends, neighbors, co-workers to build relationships, share stories and build justice ministry. Contact Justice Ministry Leaders or HOPE Organizers to learn more about participating!

31st Annual HOPE Convention – Monday, October 28, 2019 – Sign In: 6:30 p.m.;  A Choir: 6:45 p.m.; Agenda: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Location TBD

HOPE congregations and friends will celebrate long-term changes in Hillsborough County improving the lives of thousands of families, hear reports from decision makers on commitments made at the April 1 Nehemiah Action with 1200 people regarding affordable housing and criminal Justice, and vote to determine community problems in 2020.

Contact a member congregation or HOPE to get your free “Convention Entry Ticket” today!

HOPE Rally – Monday, March 30, 2020 – Sign-In: 6:30 pm – Agenda: 7 pm – 8:30 pm

We will report our on our research, propose potential solutions, and build toward a powerful Nehemiah Action with decision makers.

Nehemiah Action – Monday, April 27, 2020 – Sign-In: 6:30 pm – Agenda: 7 pm – 8:30 pm

We will unite together to achieve justice in Hillsborough County!  Your presence will help create the political will of decision makers to implement long-term policy solutions to improve the quality of life for all in Hillsborough County.


On April 17, 2019, over 70 HOPE leaders attending the Board of County Commission Meeting to press for more affordable housing in Hillsborough County. All 7 Commissioners voted unanimously to direct the County Attorney’s Office to draft an ordinance to create a Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Fund and to direct staff to identify sources of revenue for the Fund on an annual basis in the amount of $10 million a year. Here is a link to the Tampa Bay Times article that highlights our Affordable Housing work: http://tampabaytimes.fl.newsmemory.com/?publink=1fb303b65
Do you remember the 2016 Juvenile Citation Agreement we got signed by the Chief Judge, the State Attorney, the Public Defender, the Clerk of Court, and all Law Enforcement Agencies in Hillsborough County? The agreement created a pilot that gave law enforcement the discretion to offer children caught the first time with misdemeanor marijuana a citation program with assessment and treatment as needed, instead of an arrest. From August of 2016 – July 2017 it has prevented 222 children from a permanent arrest record! And due to our persistence and power the same parties made it part of a permanent policy starting August 1, 2017.

HOPE’s 2017 Nehemiah Action on March 27, was a great success!

1,300 people came together at Nativity Catholic Church to get commitments from county Commissioners Crist, Kemp and Hagan to support our Affordable Housing Trust Fund proposal, and urged the Sheriff’s, Tampa City Police, Public Defendant, State Attorney and Chief Judge’s office to make permanent the civil citation program to prevent children from being arrested for first-time misdemeanor marijuana possession.  We also got commitments from the County Administrator to improve senior services for the growing senior population in our County. Read more about the Nehemiah Action…

Interested in learning more?