The change was subtle, so you may not have noticed that our mission statement was recently revised. Although the change was not dramatic, it is reflective of the ways the Signs of Hope has evolved and expanded over the years.
Our Board of Directors, with feedback from staff and input from our clients, has been considering a possible change in the name of our organization. This conversation led us to evaluate our mission, and consider vision and values statements. Our board and staff have been thinking deeply about who we are as an organization, and how the expansion of our services has impacted that identity. Over the years, the needs of our community have directed growth in three particular service areas.
Prevention work has become an important focus here at the Signs of Hope. It has been an investment in what we can do to move beyond raising awareness of violence to actively engaging in primary prevention. We’ve focused our efforts where they can be most effective by allowing data to shape our strategies. For example: the Stay Safe and PartySmart programs address high rates of sexual violence in nightlife settings.
The launch of our RISE Program to support victims of trafficking represents a natural progression in our work. Following the work of our community and various task forces to more effectively identify victims and deliver services to them, it made sense for us to expand our programming to meet that need.
The growth of the Signs of Hope Counseling Center has been a direct response to demand from clients, as well as a general awareness of the lack of mental health services in our community and how that was affecting survivors. Building a team of therapists with the specific expertise and experience in serving survivors of violence, as well as expanding our offering of holistic healing modalities, has been key to responding to that need.
Taking this growth and change into account, during the board retreat our Board of Directors went through the process of highlighting the various elements of the existing mission statement. Our staff conducted a similar process at their retreat. Then, the board convened a special meeting to craft the new language. The revised statement that came from that meeting was well received by staff.
We made just one change to it, and that was to rearrange the “help, hope and healing” statement to read “hope, help and healing”. This change came from our clients, who felt it was important to emphasize that hope is what has the greatest impact for them.
Our mission statement now reads:
Our mission is offering hope, help and healing to those affected by sexual violence and exploitation. Making an impact through the core services of: • Prevention • Education • Advocacy • Counseling
The spirit of community-driven growth and evolution in our programs continues as we adapt to Covid19. As Nevada begins to reopen, we are focused on listening to clients to understand their needs and comfort levels. We are working to understand what needs to happen face to face, and what works on online platforms so that we can return to full operations in a way that keeps everyone safe. We are being especially attentive to the needs of those who are undocumented, those who do not have easy access to virtual services, and other groups who have been severely impacted by the changes brought on by Covid19. Personal protective equipment, plexiglass, and new sanitation routines are all tools we are using so that we can resume in person services as safely as possible.