Kalamazoo Hope (KHOPE) was founded in January of 2012 by Scott Anderson as Kalamazoo County Resource Nexus (KCRN); he established it with a desire to contribute to his community, as well as provide inspiration to individuals with disabilities; in 2018, he chose to refine its focus from general assistance to specifically helping those with psychological conditions.
Scott is a mental health peer, meaning that he himself works with certain aspects of his psychological health and strives to help others in this area. He sees his experiences as both useful and challenging; while they have presented very difficult times in his life, he has also gained insight into understanding psychological conditions and working with the various aspects related to them.
Kalamazoo Hope is a social service directory designed specifically to help those with psychological conditions. It provides online access to a comprehensive array of resources that can assist individuals in Kalamazoo County who are experiencing various hardships in relation to their psychological health; this service is provided free of charge.
Using traditional, overlooked, and unique sources, Kalamazoo Hope strives to provide access to key resources and organizations through its website; the information can be reviewed online, downloaded, or printed in a reader-friendly format.
Another goal of Kalamazoo Hope is to raise awareness and understanding of mental health, as well as strive to help eliminate stigma and discrimination against those with psychological conditions. This is done through its website, social media, and involvement with groups supporting mental health in the Kalamazoo County area.
These two goals are the embodiment of Kalamazoo Hope's motto, "Helping Individuals to Survive and Live Healthy, Quality Lives."
Since its founding in 2012, Kalamazoo Hope has been fortunate enough to be able to help the local community and be recognized for what it can contribute:
In 2013, the Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council included Kalamazoo Hope (then Kalamazoo County Resource Nexus, KCRN) as another source to consider for resources in the Additional Information section of its Family Help Book (page 62).
In mid-2014, Kalamazoo Hope worked with Coordinator Mark Lull of Allegan County Transportation Services, County Adminstrator Dan Wedge, and Richard Congdon of Kalamazoo Metro to create the option for individuals in Kalamazoo County to utilize Allegan County's shuttle service, allowing for a wider range of travel for those without their own transportation.
In early 2015, Kalamazoo Hope worked with Ann Bonevich of Kalamazoo NAMI, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, and several other individuals to correct some terms on the Sheriff's Office's Project Lifesaver page; the words and phrases removed are considered slurs in today's culture.
Since 2015, Kalamazoo Hope has sponsored or supported OutFront Kalamazoo's (formerly the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center, KGLRC) yearly June Pride festival.
In May of 2016, Kalamazoo Hope (represented by Scott Anderson) and others spoke to the City of Portage Human Services Board, advocating that the Portage Non-Discrimination Ordinance be changed to include individuals who are are discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The ordinance was passed by the Portage City Council on June 28th, 2016.
In 2018, Kalamazoo Hope decided to shift from providing resources to Kalamazoo County at large to specifically aiding individuals with psychological conditions; with this change, KCRN became Kalamazoo Hope.
On April 27th, 2018, Scott Anderson received the Volunteer Kalamazoo 2018 STAR (Sharing Time and Resources) Adult Volunteer Award for his work related to Kalamazoo Hope and OutFront Kalamazoo (where he had volunteered for over three and a half years).