The Hope Card Project

The Hope Card Project

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Hope Card Project is a patented approach to enforcement of protection orders and delivery of victim services. The Hope Card can reduce the time on scene for officers responding to incidents of protection order violations and can provide a sense of security to victims. In addition, victims can receive potential services more conveniently.

The main principal of domestic violence addressed by this initiative is protection order enforcement and victim services delivery. Our organization developed the Hope Card Project and hopes to provide the Hope Card System to every jurisdiction in the U.S.

The primary beneficiaries and target groups are courts, law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations and victims of domestic violence.

About You
Location
Project Street Address
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Your idea
Focus of activity

Direct Support

Year the initiative began

2006

Position your initiative on the mosaic of solutions
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

Which of the insights is the primary focus of your work?

Increase Women’s Power

If you believe some other barrier or insight should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic
Innovation
Description of Initiative

The Hope Card Project is a patented approach to enforcement of protection orders and delivery of victim services. The Hope Card can reduce the time on scene for officers responding to incidents of protection order violations and can provide a sense of security to victims. In addition, victims can receive potential services more conveniently.

The main principal of domestic violence addressed by this initiative is protection order enforcement and victim services delivery. Our organization developed the Hope Card Project and hopes to provide the Hope Card System to every jurisdiction in the U.S.

The primary beneficiaries and target groups are courts, law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations and victims of domestic violence.

Innovation

The Hope Card is unique in that it offers petitioners of protection orders the convenience of carrying their order at all times in their wallets, pockets or purses, making it easily accessible in times of emergencies. The Card can easily be displayed to a law enforcement officer at the time of a violation and be easily identifiable as a valid protection order. The Card offers an additional unique feature beyond a paper order in that a photograph of the petitioner and the respondent appear on the Card, making identification in the field quick and simple.

Another similar project currently available is Project Passport which provides for a national cover page on all protection orders to make it easily recognizable as an order of protection by law enforcement officials. Project Passport is an excellent program and should be encouraged. In fact, the Hope Card Project has married itself to Project Passport by adding the national cover page into the Hope Card software program. When a Card is printed a national cover page is simultaneously produced and printed. While both the Hope Card and Project Passport are geared towards full faith and credit, the Hope Card offers a variety of benefits not available with Project Passport including convenient size, durability, a photograph of both parties, and the use as a voucher ID.

The voucher side of the Card is currently under development which will include a magnetic strip containing vital information regarding the protection order and transaction information for goods and services. The Card will be used to receive goods or services form participating businesses and can be replenished by participating non-profit and government organizations. In concept the Card will be used like a debit card at designated businesses that provide lodging, fuel, food and medical care. In addition, the Card will contain a calling card feature to allow for limited phone use in times of urgency.

The hope of the card is to provide an advocacy center in a card. Sort of a “Swiss Army Knife” of the advocacy world. A multipurpose tool that contains enforcement options, as well as, consequence management capabilities.

Delivery Model

Currently the Project has reached target populations through word of mouth, conferences, publications and a website (www.hopecardproject.com). The website is currently being revised to give it a more professional appearance and provide for a more user friendly environment. The Hope Card Project is also to appear in the Department of Justice’s best practices publication.

Key Operational Partnerships

Currently the State of Montana, Office of the Attorney General has been a critical partner with the Hope Card Project to establish a nationwide central repository for the Hope Card which will be housed by their agency. The repository will allow law enforcement and courts to securely access all issued Hope Cards and any information attached to the Card. The repository will not be mandatory for all participating jurisdictions. We recognize the sovereignty of the Native American tribes in the U.S. and will honor their decision to not release specific information concerning their people. Understanding this, the Hope Card System software can be used on a stand alone system.

The voucher side of the Card is currently also under development. In concept the Card will be used as a voucher ID for services such as lodging, meals, fuel and even medical care for those escaping abusive situations. During the beta phase of the Project several businesses agreed to provide one time lodging and fuel upon display of the Card. Currently, the Hope Card Project is developing partnerships with businesses to utilize the Card as a debit card making redemption of such services more convenient for everyone involved.

Impact
Financial Model

The Hope Card System has a startup cost of approximately $8,000 to $10,000 and a yearly maintenance cost of about $200-$1,000.

Funding can be justified under the Encourage to Arrest Grant available through the Department of Justice. The Hope Card Project is awaiting approval of it’s 501(c)(3) status and has private corporate funding awaiting upon such approval. At that time the Hope Card Project will make funding available for low-income and marginalized populations. In addition, the Hope Card Project staff will work with organizations to raise funds in their area.

What percentage, if any, of the total operating costs does earned income (from products, services, or other fees) represent?

0

How is the initiative financed? Is it financially self-sustainable or profitable? How much do beneficiaries contribute?

This initiative has been financed to date through personal funds and is currently seeking other funding opportunities. The Project is not profitable and may be financially self-sustaining if participating agencies charge a small fee for the card, however, this approach has not been taken and needs to be reviewed further.

Effectiveness

The measure of the Project’s success cannot be made accurately to date. The number of people benefited and its impact is currently under review. In terms of influence the Project has caught the attention of several jurisdictions reviewing its potential success. Of those the State of Montana has been in the forefront to provide the Project statewide. In addition, the State of Washington recently passed legislation to review the feasibility of establishing the Hope Card statewide. The final committee report is due in the near future. Recent requests have come from 16 additional states and several tribal governments, as well as, Canadian Parliament.

How many people have benefited from your program over the last year? Which element of the program proved itself most effective?

The number of people benefiting from the project is not measureable due to it being in its beta phase. As for the most effective element of the program it would have to be the encourage to arrest aspect. Law enforcement has found the Card easier to recognize then traditional paper protection orders. Victims have noted an increased sense of security in knowing they posses the Card at all times.

Scaling up Strategy

The priority for the next 3 years is to establish the Hope Card Project in every State and Canada. With the overwhelming statistics of domestic violence in this country alone and the number of protection order violations that occur outside of their issuing jurisdictions this Project will save lives and reduce unnecessary injuries. In addition, the completion of the voucher side of the Card is equally a priority in order to bring quick and efficient goods and services to victim attempting to escape abusive situations and empower them to avoid returning.

Stage of the Initiative

0

Origin of the Initiative

As a federal agent working in Indian Country I experienced a high number of domestic violence incidents throughout the U.S. I was privileged to meet the acquaintance and work with several amazing advocates and former victims who made clear their concerns with law enforcement and the courts’ lack of involvement with the enforcement of foreign issued protection orders. Due to the quagmire of jurisdictions facing Indian Country I was struck by the difficulty in enforcing tribal protective orders outside of Indian Country and vise versa. Hoping to find a simple solution the Hope Card Project was created.

Sustainability
How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate?

Domestic violence listserv (CAVNET). The main incentive is to expand knowledge of the project and attract potential donors to assist in the development of the project.

Main Obstacles to Scaling Up

1) People to help run the organization and project. 2) Funding to move the project forward.

Main Financial Challenges

1) There is a need to hire personnel with experience in the areas of the law, non-profit management, technology and business.
2) Receiving 501(c)(3) status.

In addition, the need for additional start up costs is crucial to the success of this Project and organization. In order to scale up the operation this organization would need approximately $1,000,000 to meet the growing demand. While government grants are acceptable, the bureaucratic restrictions on such funding can reduce flexibility and creativity of the Project. Therefore, private donations from corporations, social investors and foundations are highly sought.

Main Partnership Challenges

Because the Hope Card can be shown to potentially save lives and prevent injuries, developing partnerships has not proven to be difficult. The concept itself seems to attract potential partners.