Awards & Recognition

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  • Charity Navigator awarded Place of Hope their coveted 4-star rating in 2015! Only 9% of the charities they rate have received at least 4 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Place of Hope outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Place of Hope from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust. Read full letter.

  • The Huffington Post named Place of Hope as one of the top 11 charities that changed the world in 2014!

  • Place of Hope was ranked number 1 Youth, Development, Shelter, and Crisis Services nonprofit in the nation from Charity Navigator in 2014, America’s premier independent charity evaluator!
  • “Community Champion Award” for outstanding and compassionate efforts on behalf of the children and families of the 15th Circuit of Florida. The award was given to Place of Hope on behalf of Perry Borman, Southeast Regional Director of Florida Department of Children and Families (5/24/2010).
  • “Florida Local Advocacy Council: A Shining Good Job Certificate” (3/2009).
  • Our Founding Executive Director, Charles L. Bender, III, has served on various key leadership teams to help shape child welfare in Palm Beach County and the State of Florida: Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Governor Jeb Bush; Faith-Based Advisory Board, Governor Jeb Bush; Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Family Law Advisory Group; Governor’s Faith-Based Adoption Initiative Core Group, Governor Charlie Crist; Office of Adoption and Child Protection Committee Executive Office of the Governor, Governor Charlie Crist; Health and Human Services Transition Team, Governor Rick Scott; Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council; Governor’s Faith-Based Adoption Initiative Core Group, Governor Rick Scott; Florida Coalition for Children, Governor Rick Scott; Transition Team for the Florida Department of Children and Families, Governor Rick Scott; Governance and Leadership Co-Lead Role, Governor Rick Scott.
  • “Place of Hope is one of the best “Teaching Family” model systems that I have seen, providing very good care for a young lady with very complicated challenges.” – Pete Digre, DCF Assistant Secretary of Operations
  • Congresswoman Alcee Hastings: “I am writing to commend everyone at Place of Hope for your great kindness in assisting families and children involved in foster care and adoption. It is always heartening to learn of a fine organization such as yours that endeavors to reach out to people in need.”
  • Representative Adam Hasner: “I have always been impressed with the work that you do.”
  • Representative Patrick Rooney, upon Charles receiving the 2011 Excellence in Child Welfare Service Award: “Congratulations on a job well done.”
  • Governor Jeb Bush: “Your vision and voice as an expert who is willing to think about how we can encourage the faith-based community to work collaboratively with government is truly appreciated.”
  • Mark S. Pafford, Florida State Representative: “Congratulations on receiving a Certificate of Commendation from the Department of Children and Families for your dedication to those in need. I know your programs and services have assisted and provided for a vast number of families and individuals.”
  • Excerpt from a letter from a young lady who called Place of Hope home for two years: “For the rest of my life I will proudly tell stories about my days at Place of Hope and the new life each of you gave to me. I will never forget any of you, and will miss all of you so much. Thank you for everything you have done for me.”
  • “Every precious child needs a stable and strong environment to succeed in their lives. Place of Hope works hard every day to foster that stable environment for the children and families who need it the most. I am proud to be part of an organization that strengthens families, and aspires to develop children within the values of leadership, responsibility, and self-discipline.” — Jeff Atwater, Chief Financial Officer – Florida Department of Financial Services
  • Chandra Bill, News Channel 5: “For the children who call Place of Hope home, this little neighborhood is a ray of sunshine in a life clouded with sorrow.”
  • The Palm Beach Post: “Place of Hope is a rare success story in a difficult field and a badly needed addition to county that never has enough foster homes.”
  • State Licensing Report: “Place of Hope, a high quality program and needed resource in Palm Beach County, provides a loving and nurturing family environment for abused, neglected, or abandoned children and makes it possible for sibling groups to stay together…”
  • Child & Family Connections Audit: “The dedication and care that Place of Hope employees bring to their workplace is evident by the 100% satisfaction rating that clients indicated when exiting group care and Place of Hope… Place of Hope’s network is provided with comprehensive case management, therapy and counseling, tutoring, mentoring, educational development, and life-skills training. During interviews employees, clients and foster parents all stated that they felt supported and empowered through their interactions with Place of Hope.”
  • Child & Family Connections Audit: “Overall, the QA Team was extremely impressed with the culture of support and care that Place of Hope continues to nurture and extend to the dependent children of Palm Beach County that it serves.”
  • Annual Relicensing Study, Department of Children and Families: “The shelter provides a lovely and safe neighborhood environment. The cottage is decorated in a home-like manner and does not have an institutional appearance.”
  • Department of Children and Families: “Seven Stars Emergency Shelter continues to provide high quality care to children in need. All children reported feeling safe. Many reported that they like the staff. One client wrote, “That was a very wonderful place and the staff are great!” Another child wrote that he was treated like family.”
  • Department of Children and Families: “Place of Hope is an important resource within the community and is a leader in group care for Palm Beach County.”
  • Florida Local Advocacy Council: “[Place of Hope] is an outstanding facility and should be used as a model to others providing services.”
  • Tom and Victoria Wilson, Place of Hope foster parents, were honored by the Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and by the county’s child welfare agency as Foster Parents of the Year in 2012.
  • Senator Rubio’s office (Viviana Bovo) and the Department of Children and Families (Gilda Ferradaz) came to visit and stated that we have the best model for running a safe house that they have seen.
  • Homes of Hope’s Robert and Aleta Moffett were named Foster Parents of the Year in 2013.
  • Charles Bender was awarded with Florida’s Children First’s “Children’s Advocacy Award” in 2013.
  • ChildNet awarded Place of Hope with the “Above and Beyond Award” in 2013.
  • Place of Hope received the Doyle Foundation’s “Doyle Award for Nonprofit Excellence” in 2013.
  • The Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council awarded Place of Hope with the “Champions of Hope Award” in 2013. A recent DCF audit for Place of Hope reads: “When asked if they could change one thing about the program…the… client stated, ‘Everything is perfect nothing should change.'”
  • Charles Bender was awarded with the 2014 Residential Caregiver of the Year Award from Florida Coalition for Children.
  • Congresswoman Lois Frankel writes in a letter to Charles as a result of a roundtable discussion on human trafficking “…I will continue to reach out to you for ideas and steps we can take to help survivors and combat trafficking…As a result of our discussion I will look into the federal grants available to support survivors…”
  • Charles was a participant/key-note speaker in a panel with Florida’s House of Representatives’ Healthy Family Committee re: sex trafficking.
  • Received Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce 2014 “Non-Profit of the Year” Award.