Our Mission

Our Vision

Robin’s Hope is a trauma focused program that empowers individuals to thrive through a safe, peer-run community that provides connection, inspires hope, and promotes resilience.

Togetherness Transforms Trauma into Thriving

Guiding Principles

Genuine Human Relationships:

Robin’s Hope is founded on our ‘humanness’ and the importance of forming genuine connections with other human beings. This means that individuals participating in our services will be encouraged to form connections with each other as they develop naturally, and to use these connections as an opportunity to build or strengthen their natural support systems.

We will respect each other’s physical, sexual, and personal boundaries. This means that everyone has the right to determine when they are going to be available, when they do or do not want to be hugged or touched in any way, and what sorts of relationships they wish to engage in with others using Robin’s Hope services.

Imperfection in relationships is an expectation. The presence of these values does not mean that all interactions will be perfect or fully embody all values at all times. Rather, imperfection will be expected, and – when bumps occur – we will work to see it as an opportunity for growth rather than a failure of the center and/or relationship.

Self-Determination & Personal Strength:

Robin’s Hope will not preach any one way of healing and will make space for people to define their own paths to ‘recovery.’ This means that Robin’s Hope will offer education and information on a variety of perspectives, options, and resources, but that people will always hold the power to determine their own goals, and to define for themselves the meaning of the word ‘recovery’ as it applies to their own lives.

Each individual will be treated as capable of setting boundaries/guidelines for themselves. Hence, Robin’s Hope will avoid setting too many ‘rules’ and micromanaging situations and relationships because we believe in each individual’s strength and wisdom to make their own choices, express likes and dislikes, and identify needs without the overuse of rules and guidelines to dictate that process.

Mutuality:

Every individual has a unique blend of experiences and strengths that aid in their healing journeys. At Robin’s Hope, we utilize a diverse range of roles in our services but value each individual’s input equally. It is assumed that all individuals who become a part of Robin’s Hope for support will also give support to another at some point and that each individual will not only approach Robin’s Hope with the attitude of what they can get but also what they can give.

Robin’s Hope is a place where peers and clinicians work together. We value the peer support approach and we encourage peer support within our program. Our values are rooted in utilizing the strengths and resources of all to benefit moving forward. Clinicians and students join in this value system to offer additional skills and tools to encourage healing. We are all on equal ground and we are all attaining the goal of living a lasting and fulfilling life.

We are all leaders at Robin’s Hope. This does not mean that each person must necessarily take turns facilitating meetings, organizing campaigns, or being the point person for a given activity. What it means is that as each of us empowers ourselves to move, question, change, act and be hopeful we thereby (intentionally or not) inspire others at the center and in our community to do the same – by doing so we become agents of change all around us.

Optimism:

Robin’s Hope believes that recovery is a process of healing for all individuals. This means that all individuals will be welcomed to be a part of the program and treated with the belief that they have the power and ability to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Robin’s Hope will show compassion to those who are struggling. This means that our organization recognizes that all individuals have ups and downs, and moments when they may ‘relapse’ or need to step away, but that we will reach out to them in times of need and always welcome them back with open arms and without judgment.

Healing Environments:

Individuals within Robin’s Hope will respect each other’s privacy. This includes holding confidentiality around information shared within Robin’s Hope spaces and supporting one another to define how and when information can be shared in a respectful manner and in a way that builds community and connection.

Robin’s Hope strives to create physically and emotionally safe spaces. Some examples of this may be walking someone to their car when it is dark if they have stated they feel unsafe and being aware of body tone, body language, and actions as they impact others. We believe that everyone must have autonomy and safety to voice their needs. We ask that every individual voice their needs as they arise so that we can problem-solve solutions together.

Robin’s Hope is Trauma-Informed. We are walking side by side facing life together sharing tools and resources that may be helpful in promoting healing, hope, and resilience. We do not believe in asking what is wrong with you, but instead what has happened to you striving to get to know, learn, and grow from one another.

Robin’s Hope is a drug and alcohol-free environment. This means avoiding smelling of alcohol or drugs or being visibly intoxicated or high, or bringing alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia into Robin’s Hope spaces and/or activities.

Robin’s Hope uses non-violent conflict resolution. It is anticipated that when conflict arises, people will address the conflict directly with one another whenever possible. It is also anticipated that this will occur without the use of yelling, gossiping, or physical aggression and that individuals, in general, will be open to talking through conflicts with one another.

Respect:

Above all else, Robin’s Hope expects each individual to treat others as they would wish to be treated. This means treating ourselves, each other, and each other’s belongings with respect, compassion, and kindness at all times.

Robin’s Hope aspires to use the most inclusive and respectful language at all times. Everyone will be encouraged to use open, person-first, strengths-based language and to avoid using one-word labels when referring to others in the recovery community.

Robin’s Hope encourages showing gratitude and appreciation for all at the center. Individuals are encouraged to go out of their way whenever possible to thank others for their contributions, including those with whom they might not always get along.

Robin’s Hope will respect all differences of opinions, beliefs, culture, appearances, and ways of life. This means treating everyone with dignity, respect, and as a valued individual, as well as encouraging learning, openness, and conversations about different beliefs and cultures. We will not ostracize or put down any individual based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, size or other aspects of appearance, religious beliefs, and so on.

Our Story

7 out of 10 Americans have faced at least one traumatic situation in their lifetime. Many consider the impact of trauma to be a lifelong challenge. At Robin’s Hope, we seek to help people heal, so that the trauma they experienced becomes a part of their story and part of their past. Trauma can and does heal, given the right tools and support.



The foundation of the vision for Robin's Hope...

Robin’s Hope was founded by Jennifer Kell, LCSW, and Heather Pate, RPRS- T. The name of our organization was inspired and in honor of Robin Farrar, whose heart desired to create a place where people could find support after they leave the hospital setting. This is the foundation of our vision for Robin’s Hope.

We’re a non-profit program of the Jeremiah Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 that also provides outpatient counseling under the name Inner Touch. The Jeremiah Foundation is committed to helping people heal and manage mental health concerns.  We do our best to try and make our space safe, but we know that we will make mistakes.  We are always working on trying to improve our spaces.  The organization name is called Jeremiah Foundation, Inc. because that is what it was named in 2006.  We encourage everyone to attend from all race, creed, religion or no religion, lifestyle, color, belief, and so forth. 

Why the Llama?

Meet The Robin's Hope Staff...

Our staff is small, but passionate. We have six full-time staff members  as well as a large volunteer workforce. We continue to grow at a very fast pace and are excited to grow our capacity to reach those in need.

Jennifer Kell, LCSW,
Executive Director

Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years of experience in treating trauma in children, adolescents, and adults. As co-founder of Robin’s Hope, Jennifer is excited to offer innovative services to help our community understand the impact of traumatic experiences, learn about resilience, and heal.

Heather Pate, RPRS-T

I am a Registered and Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, 72-Hour PRS trainer, and Director of Peer Services for Robin’s Hope. I hold the Board Chair position for Jeremiah Foundation, Inc. and the co-founder of Robin’s Hope. I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering. I am trained to teach various other training that improve the field of Peer Support in Virginia. I am an involved member in various local/state councils and coalitions. I am in the first graduating class of Recovery Leadership Academy. I am a person in long term recovery with mental health and trauma experiences. Peer Support and Peer Programs gave me hope.

Tracy Grow, Office Manager

Tracy Grow is Office Manager for Jeremiah Foundation (Robin’s Hope/Inner Touch Counseling), and has over 30 years of professional administrative experience. She is a known local advocate and ally who has volunteered for various non-profits and community efforts that support recovery from substance use, mental health disorders, grief and loss as well as trauma since 2015. Four months after losing her oldest son, Taylor to an accidental heroin overdose, and seeing a need in our community, she founded GRAPLE in 2017. GRAPLE is a local and national grief and loss resource for anyone who has lost a loved one to substance use disorder. They offer weekly support groups, 24/7 crisis support to individuals and first responders, as well as peer-to-peer mentoring.

Michael
James-Deramo, RPRS, Program Director

Michael is a certified peer recovery specialist and longtime participant of Robin's Hope. Michael is trained in Mental Health First Aid, Seeking Safety, and is a certified REVIVE! trainer. Michael has a history in nonprofit community organizing and engaging in environmental and social justice work. They like poetry, hiking and camping and dressing up in fun floral shirts.

Rye Curtis, In-Person Program Lead

I was born in Warren County, with a mild form of Spina Bifida, and was the eldest of 2 siblings. My family moved to Richmond in 1973 when I was 5 years old. Soon after moving, I contracted spinal meningitis, succumbed to a coma, & suffered a stroke. The stroke left me with semi-hemi paralysis of my right side. My parents were told I would never walk again,. After several months in the hospital & while receiving intense physical therapy, when I was discharged in May I had started to walk again & by September I was fully walking. However, I was left with lifelong epilepsy as a result of the stroke. At 12 I had started smoking marijuana & by 15 my addiction had escalated to hard drugs. At 16 I quit school, left home, took a job cutting grass at a tattoo shop, & witnessed a friend accidently shoot himself resulting in his death. The crowd that frequented the tattoo shop was a rough crowd, I started hanging out with them & was given the nickname Rye. They said I was like a good whiskey (Rye) but just had not aged long enough. At 18 I was at a party & was pressured into playing Russian Rolette. I was the last to go & was sure I was going to die as the gun had never fired, only to fin out the gun had no bullets. This event had a lasting impact on my life. Once I was a little older I began following bands, after some time, band members began to recognize me & I was asked to be a roadie. I worked my way up to writing songs with different bands & started forming my own bands, sometimes I was even the lead singer. I was still using but it was not yet out of control. I knew my childhood medical conditions would not allow me to continue doing hard physical labor so when I was presented with an opportunity to attend Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation center, I took it. I attended one year taking a course in mechanical drafting. During this time, I met two very important people in my life, first is Bob, a lifelong best friend & second I fell in love with a young lady who I became engaged to. We were together for a year when she became very ill & passed away after 4 months. This loss triggered & skyrocketed my substance abuse disorder & I was losing any control. Around the same time, I was given the opportunity to host my own tv show “Koncrete Alley” showcasing Heavy Metal/Hard rock bands while also managing several other bands. I ran full steam for 6 while using various drugs daily, ultimately leading me to using heroin every day. My recovery began when a guy I was partying with called me me a junkie one day, a huge fight erupted, and I threw him out. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror and realized that the person looking at me was a junkie. In 2000 I met the woman who would become my wife. I had already been clean for a good while, but I credit this wonderful woman by helping keep me clean. In 2011, after attending Friend's 4 Recovery and finding myself drawn to helping others in their journey, I started the Peer Movement. While training to be a facilitator for WRAP I met Mr. Powell. Mr. Powell arranged a scholarship for me to become a Peer Support Specialist (PRS) & started my journey to becoming a PRS. By 2016 I had worked my way up to becoming the Executive Director at Friends 4 Recovery. One night when I came home from work, 10/31/2016, Halloween night, I found my wife passed away. I was in shock, but due to certain events I no longer felt supported and by the end of January 2017 I left Friends. After a year in a very dark place I found myself in a manic phase of my Bipolar disorder waking up in New York very unhappy & realizing I had made a mistake. September 2020 I made my way back to Richmond. The first year I spent reestablishing myself in Virginia & visiting Robin’s Hope, a place that I had heard so much about. I was welcomed by Heather Pate who had heard of me from friends. While living in New York, my PRS certification had run, Heather asked If I would like to start working on my hours to recertify & I was more than happy to do so. On November 28, 2023, I will celebrate 25 years of being free from drug use. I hope to one day bring a dual diagnosis group to Robin’s Hope to help others navigate the path that I traveled.

Wendy Bundy, CPRS-T, RYT-200, Virtual Program Lead

Wendy Bundy (she/her), comes to Robin's Hope with a varied background including time spent in 911, higher education, libraries and peer support/nonprofits. In addition to her role here, she teaches adjunct for Germanna Community College in their criminal justice department and serves as a trainer/facilitator for many other programs/classes including Mental Health First Aid and DBHDS's Peer Recovery Specialist Training. She has lived experience with mental health and trauma, some of which comes from her time spent as a 911 dispatcher. She is active with NAMI as a volunteer, trained to lead/present in many of their programs. She is also a Certified Personal Medicine Coach (CPMC), CPMC Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and trained in Seeking Safety, Digital Peer Support, Crisis Counseling Assistance, and Stress First Aid, just to name a few. Passionate about advocacy, she enjoys sharing her story/experiences with others so they know they are not alone. She was recognized earlier this year by the Disability Law Center of Virginia as an Impact Award Recipient for her advocacy efforts. She also received the Lionel Aldridge Champions Award from NAMI this year, which is an award given to an individual with a mental health condition who demonstrates courage, leadership and service in their work to promote recovery and ensure that all people with mental health conditions live full lives in their communities. When not working or volunteering, Wendy enjoys spending quiet evenings at home with her husband, 4 dogs, and 4 birds.

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