Hope Village for Children was founded in June 2000 by actress Sela Ward, a Meridian native, with a vision to “lead each child to a place where hope is born.” In our first five years, we have seen that vision become a reality.
Each child who comes to us has been removed from his or her primary caregiver’s custody by the Mississippi Department of Human Services due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The Hope Village campus consists of five cottages. Two cottages are licensed as emergency shelters for children ages birth to eighteen, while two other cottages are licensed as long-term therapeutic residential facilities for children ages twelve to eighteen. The two types of facilities on our campus each have a cottage for males and a cottage for females.
Each emergency shelter has the capacity to provide care for up to twelve children each night, and each residential cottage has the capacity to care for up to ten children each night. The remaining cottage has been renovated and furnished, but remains empty because of a lack of funding for support personnel. When we are able to open a new cottage, we will have the capacity to provide care for fifty-four children each night.