About Us

HOPES' Mission is to provide community services that respond to the social, educational and training needs of individuals in an effort to overcome barriers and fight the causes of poverty.


the History of HOPES

Making Change, Empowering People, and Impacting the Community for over 50 years.

HOPES CAP, Inc. (HOPES) is a Community Action Agency established in 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnsonís administration as a result of the Economic Opportunity Act. HOPES was charged with the responsibility of combating poverty in Hudson County, New Jersey by providing a variety of social services for the community. Over the years, HOPES has remained committed to its mission of providing programs that respond to the social, educational, and training needs of low income individuals.

HOPES aims to benefit people throughout all stages of life by offering an array of relevant services in the areas of early childhood development, youth enrichment, adult services, and senior assistance. As a result of this commitment, HOPES has had successful results and earned the respect and trust of its clients, partners, and peers. HOPES strives to make positive change in the world, empower the people it serves, and impact communities for the better.

The Promise of Community Action

Community Action changes peopleís lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

What Are CAAs?

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are nonprofit private and public organizations established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America's War on Poverty. Community Action Agencies help people to help themselves in achieving self-sufficiency. Today there are approximately 1,000 Community Action Agencies serving the poor in every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Trust Territories.

National Community Action Partnership


The CAA Network:
Community Action Agencies Across America

The service areas of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) cover 96 percent of the nation's counties. Our agencies are connected by a national network that includes the Community Action Partnership national association, regional associations, state associations, a national lobbying organization, and a national association of Community Service Block Grant administrators. CAAs are a primary source of direct support for the more than 34.5 million people who live in poverty in the United States. The majority of CAA program participants are extremely poor, with incomes below 75 percent of the federal poverty threshold.


About the Board

HOPES CAP, Inc. (HOPES) is organized as a 501©(3) corporation that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

The Board is a tri-partite Board: one third represent HOPES target population, one third represents the local business and professional community, and one third represent elected officials from the local area. Board members meet on a monthly basis.

The responsibility of the Board is to oversee the governance of the agency, ensuring that the HOPES mission and agency goals are being met through strategic planning and financial stability.

Message from the
President and CEO

As I reflect on our unwavering commitment to low-income residents over the past five decades, it is comforting to know that HOPES CAP, Inc. (HOPES) remains steadfast in its efforts to help families overcome barriers and fight the causes of poverty. In 2012 alone, thousands of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, youth, adults and seniors were supported with HOPES’ programs that endeavored to guide them along their pathway to self-sufficiency. Our approach to empowering the livelihood of individuals and families in need has demonstrated its remarkable potential to end intergenerational poverty for all who share in our mutual sense of community.

As we consider our achievements, we are also reminded that the road to financial independence is formidable and arduous for many. The root causes of poverty still marginalize low-income families as quality education, healthcare, housing, transportation and employment remain elusive within the neighborhoods we serve. These realities inspire us to design and improve agency programs in response to both the existing and emergent needs identified in our community. We must keep hope alive for each and every individual and family that calls out for our assistance.

Despite the overwhelming success that HOPES has realized over the past years, we know that we are not in this fight alone. With the generous and considerate support of our community partners and financial supporters, HOPES will continue providing the much-needed resources and guidance that aim to lift families out of poverty.

If the accomplishments of this past year are any indication, I am extremely confident that our future will exceed the innumerable contributions we are currently making to the community. We continue to be encouraged by our successes, yet carry on knowing that the measure of a just society can only be judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate and most vulnerable. We also extend our sincerest gratitude to the many caring citizens, businesses and community partners who embrace and support our core mission: improving society by helping people to become self-sufficient.

-Ora Welch (President & CEO)

Chairperson's Message

Our dedication to the citizens of Hoboken is reflected in the success of our diverse programs that directly benefit hundreds of families and individuals in our city.

The support and well-being of our community has been enhanced through the day-to-day commitment to excellence that is the hallmark of HOPES' professional staff.

The HOPES Board of Directors is dedicated to helping people help themselves and will continue its work on behalf of the community by endorsing programs that are socially relevant, stimulating and essential to the individual's future success.

-Frank Raia (Chairperson)



Board Members

Frank Raia (Chairperson)

Michele Russo (Vice Chairperson)

Suzanne Hetman (Secretary)

Kenneth O'Neill (Treasurer)

Florence Amato

Carey Brown

Michael Cohen

Susan Costomiris

Elizabeth Falco

Hovie Foreman

Christiane Hoffman

Dr. Sara Kalambur

Ray Narvaez, Jr.

Carmencita Pile

Sharon Ramphir

George Schorr

Brionna Castillo (Policy Council Liaison)