Successes and Recognitions

Successes and Recognitions

Charity Navigator 3 years

Place of Hope’s Successes

  • Place of Hope received a 4-star rating for six consecutive years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) from Charity Navigator! See our rating page here.
  • Place of Hope currently operates eight locations: Place of Hope’s Paxson Campus, Donna’s Place at The Villages, Hope House Florida, Place of Hope at KidSanctuary Campus, Place of Hope at The Leighan and David Rinker, Treasures for Hope (our charity store), Place of Hope Treasure Coast (Hobe Sound), Place of Hope Treasure Coast (Saint Lucie).
  • While many siblings in foster care are forced to live apart, we strive to reunify brothers and sisters and maintain crucial family relationships. The majority of children in our care have been reunited with their brothers and sisters. Place of Hope has kept over 100 sibling groups together.
  • Our campus locations for children are debt free. Over fifty percent of our annual revenue is privately provided by individuals, foundations and corporations in our community!
  • Place of Hope has had over 178 children adopted into forever families.
  • Our executive management team consists of: Charles L. Bender III, Founding Executive Director (1999), Shannon Anderson, Associate Executive Director (2003), Gina Fazio, Director of Clinical Services (2005), Rebekah Bentley, Business Manager (2012), Joshua Kolkana, Director of Homes of Hope and Villages of Hope (2007).
  • Started in 2001, Place of Hope is now the largest children’s organization in the region, providing a full continuum of care (newborn to age 25) for children and youth in desperate need. Over 260 children and youth call Place of Hope home on a daily basis.
  • “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 by the 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.
  • 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.
  • Place of Hope has launched and completed multiple capital campaigns, meeting our financial goals. We have also completed multiple related infrastructure and construction projects.
  • 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 L. Bender III 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.
  • Charles L. Bender III was awarded with the 2014 Residential Caregiver of the Year Award from Florida Coalition for Children.
  • Charles was a participant/key-note speaker in a panel with Florida’s House of Representatives’ Healthy Family Committee re: sex trafficking.
  • Place of Hope was awarded with the Non-Profit of The Year award by the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce in 2014.
  • Charles L. Bender III was featured in Florida Weekly’s 2014 Palm Beach Leaders of Distinction special edition (August 2014).
  • Charles L. Bender III was a participant/key-note speaker in a panel with Florida’s State Attorney General, Pam Bondi, re: sex trafficking.
  • In 2014 Place of Hope was honored by Charity Navigator (America’s largest independent charity evaluator) as the number one rated nonprofit for Youth Development, Shelter, and Crisis Services in the nation! Because of this rating, The Huffington Post named Place of Hope as one of the top 11 charities that changed the world in 2014!
  • In 2015 Charles L. Bender III was appointed a board member of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, as well as a member of the Economic Council of Martin County.
  • In 2015 Joshua Kolkana was awarded Sun Sentinel’s Top Workplace Professionals Award.
  • Homes of Hope’s Shaun and Emily McElroy were named Foster Parents of the Year in 2015.
  • In 2015 Place of Hope was ranked highest in the category of “Youth Development, Shelter and Crisis Services” by Charity Navigator. This marks the second year in a row.
  • In 2015 Place of Hope received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator for the fourth consecutive year. According to Charity Navigator, “Only 9 percent of the charities we 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.”
  • On May 1, 2016 we will celebrate 15 years of serving the children and youth of South Florida.
  • We have served nearly 10,000 children and families in the past 15 years!
  • Place of Hope is a 2016 Sun Sentinel Top Workplace!
    Highly Regarded in the Community

Highly Regarded in the Community

  • “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, Department of Children and Families Assistant Secretary of Operations
  • “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.” -Congressman Alcee Hastings
  • “I have always been impressed with the work that you do.” -Representative Adam Hasner
  • “Congratulations on a job well done.” -Representative Patrick Rooney, upon Charles receiving the 2011 Excellence in Child Welfare Service Award
  • “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.” -Governor Jeb Bush
  • “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.” -Representative Mark S. Pafford
  • “For the children who call Place of Hope home, this little neighborhood is a ray of sunshine in a life clouded with sorrow.” -Chandra Bill, News Channel 5
  • “Place of Hope is a rare success story in a difficult field and a badly needed addition to the county that never has enough foster homes.” -The Palm Beach Post
  • “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…” -State Licensing Report
  • “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 and 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.” -Child and Family Connections Audit
  • “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.” -Annual Relicensing Study, Department of Children and Families
  • “Seven Stars Cottage 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.” -Department of Children and Families
  • “[Place of Hope] is an outstanding facility and should be used as a model to others providing services.” -Florida Local Advocacy Council
  • “When asked if they could change one thing about the program…the… client stated, ‘Everything is perfect nothing should change.’” -DCF audit of Place of Hope
  • “…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…” -Congresswoman Lois Frankel, in reference to roundtable discussion on human trafficking.
  • Elin Nordegren mentioned her love for Place of Hope in June 2014’s People Magazine.