On May 15, Laura, the founder of Hopes Crossing, a non-profit organization, appeared on The Non-Profit Show to discuss her non-profit, Hopes Crossing, and her work leading formerly incarcerated women to success. During the interview, Laura passionately shared the core values and objectives that drive Hopes Crossing.
Hopes Crossing is dedicated to empowering women who have been impacted by incarceration, providing them with the necessary tools and support to reintegrate into society successfully. Laura emphasized the importance of recognizing the potential in these women and helping them rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.
As a leader, Laura understands that leading women to success requires a holistic approach. She highlighted the significance of providing comprehensive services such as job training, educational opportunities, counseling, and mentorship. By addressing the various challenges these women face, Hopes’ Crossing aims to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to secure stable employment, rebuild relationships, and become self-sufficient.
Laura’s interview shed light on the resilience and untapped potential of formerly incarcerated women. She emphasized the need for empathy, understanding, and a society that offers second chances. By breaking down barriers and challenging societal stigmas, Hopes Crossing aims to create a supportive and inclusive environment where these women can thrive.
Overall, Laura’s interview on the Non Profit Show showcased the profound impact of Hopes’ Crossing in empowering and leading women to success, emphasizing the transformative power of compassion, education, and opportunities for those who have experienced incarceration.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Bulluck.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Laura. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there. I like to say my story began 20,824 days ago, I was born into a purpose I had not yet discovered. As a native Phoenician, I had never met anyone who had a story about living a life on purpose. So imagine my amazement when on what I felt was my death bed, God spoke to me telling me the assignment I was working on, as part of my Master’s Degree program, I was to take that assignment and bring it to life. Approximately ten years ago, I was a student at Walden University studying Non-Profit Management and Leadership and I had to identify a social issue in my community and write a hypothetical solution to it. Little did I know that the solution would be named “Hope’s Crossing”. The social issue I focused on was the rapid incline women being incarcerated, losing custody of their children to the foster care system, and caught up in the cycle of recidivism. My research leads me to amazing statistics of women committing non-violent crimes, due to a number of social inequities, but once they had the felony conviction on their record, the opportunity to reclaim their lives and reconnect with their children was little to none. But the most riveting discovery I found was that most of the women incarcerated had been the victim of trauma, addiction, domestic violence, and experiencing very low self-esteem and self-worth.
In 2010, I answered God’s call to bring Hope’s Crossing to life. Interestingly enough, I feel like that is when my story truly begins. Every part of my life up to 2010, we in preparation for me to become the CEO of Hope’s Crossing. Within three years of operation, It became very clear to me that there was a need to expand our mission beyond previously incarcerated women, to help all at-risk women (18 years and older) become whole and healthy. Hope’s Crossing offers life skills programs, employment support, providing resources to other community resources for housing, family reunification, and promoting health and wellness.
All of this great work could not be possible without the passionate volunteers, supporters, and my late husband Darryl Bulluck. He carried out the mission of Hope’s Crossing for the first year of operation until I could take my assignment of CEO. Over the past nine years, we have served over 300 women and look forward to 2020 where we will be celebrating ten years of service to women in our community.
Has it been a smooth road? Let me first begin by saying, no it was not smooth. What I have found through my faith walk as well is anytime you are working in your purpose, it is never easy. As with any non-profit, funding has been a real challenge. You would think that helping women to become contributing members of our community, help them to obtain employment and affordable housing would be a no brainer for funders, but not the case. But in absence of state and federal funding, there are some amazing small business owners, passionate individuals, and the community-based group that believes in giving women a second chance.
Access to transitional housing resources for single women was a greater barrier than expected. What became clear very quickly is that there is a real shortage of transitional housing for not only women but for men as well. My goal is to seek out these providers and form collaborative relationships to ensure these resources are available when needed.
Creating community awareness and connecting to the population we serve has also been a challenge. Because this population of women is virtually invisible, it is hard to find someone that doesn’t want to be found. But we are seeing a shift in this area where women are tired and ready to come out of the shadows and reclaim the life they so desire.
Please tell us about your organization. Hope’s Crossing was founded in 2010 with the desire to help women returning home from our prison system, get back on their feet. Little did I know that this vision was so much bigger than that. There are thousands of women in our communities all over this world that are hurting, struggling, hopeless, homeless, and in recovery from serious trauma, and these are the women we feel compelled to serve. As the founder and CEO, it is my strong belief that women are the backbone to our families and you know as well as I do when your back hurts, nothing is right and nothing gets done. That is what is going on in our lives, in our families and our communities and Hope’s Crossing is here and ready to serve each person that walks through our doors; ready to tackle together the barriers they are facing, the obstacle they need to overcome and welcome them to a place of healing and transformation. This allows women to become whole and healthy and break the cycle not only for themselves but for their children and their children’s children.
In 2020, Hope’s Crossing will be celebrating ten years of serving women in our community and we can’t wait to share with the world the great work we are doing and the countless number of women that are being transformed by the programs and services we provide. Our organization is a volunteer-run and we have some of the most amazing facilitators, social work interns, mentors, and volunteers. We are always looking for the right talent to grow our programs and services, and if that is you, God is calling you to serve and I look forward to meeting you.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least? I love the year-round weather found in Phoenix and the fact that you can drive four hours and reach any other climate you would like to experience. From skiing, hiking, swimming, fishing, camping and so many other outdoor experiences you can think of. The diversity of Phoenix is one any Phoenician can be proud of and we are finally, I say finally beginning to develop a culture we can claim as our own.
What I like least about Phoenix is that our transits systems, including roadways and highways, are not keeping up with the demands residents are putting on it. We are one of the fasting growing cities in the US, but our commutes are still a little archaic. I am seeing some improvements and I look forward to the continued growth and diversity of the city I call home.
If individuals are interested in investing in the lives of the women we serve, $25 a month can give women a fresh start toward changing their life and getting back on their feet.