Our History

Hope Unlimited for Children was founded in 1991 by Jack Smith, a Presbyterian missionary, and his son Philip. Responding to the horrific news reports of street children being massacred by vigilantes in Brazil, Jack and Philip boarded a plane with no plans, no contacts, no Portuguese and no money; but God affirmed His plan. On the flight to Brazil, Philip was seated with a young man whose father was on the board of an abandoned orphanage.  He offered to make the introduction and the board agreed to gift this 35-acre parcel of land with several buildings to the fledgling Hope Unlimited for Children.  It was the first miracle.

After visiting the facility which was in considerable disrepair, Jack flew back to the U.S. to raise funds and Philip stayed behind to work with an engineering firm to determine what it would take to make the buildings habitable.  The sum was staggering: almost $120,000!—the equivalent of almost $1mm in today’s dollars!  When Philip called his father to tell him that the estimate was so high as to make the project impossible, Jack told Philip that Menlo Park Presbyterian Church had just received a one-time gift for a global organization in the amount of $120,000.  Although 50 organizations applied, Hope was selected to receive the grant!—the second miracle and evidence that God’s hand was on this ministry.

The initial “City of Youth” project near São Paulo consisted of a boy’s facility with 125 resident children. It provided long-term residential care with a focus on vocational training for boys who were formerly street children. In 1997, additional facilities were constructed to accommodate 85 girls from the streets. In 2012, five additional community-based homes were established.

Meanwhile, in 1999, a second residential facility was established in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. “Hope Mountain” provides residential care for boys age 12 and above who are at extreme risk. The majority used drugs on a regular basis, and many are in state-sanctioned protective custody because of death threats from their involvement with trafficking.

Timeline

City of Youth (1991)

A 35-acre, full service campus near Campinas providing award-winning residential and vocational training programs alongside recreational fields and a working farm.

Graduate Transition Program (1998)

A uniquely structured, personalized approach that helps Hope Unlimited graduates take first steps toward self-reliance and independent living with job placement, business clothes, transitional housing, and emotional support.

Hope Mountain (1999)

A 100-acre campus near Vitória providing residential programs for mortal-risk boys and on-site, award-winning vocational training and day student programs for non-residents.

hopemountain-website
daystudentprogram-website

Day Student Program (2001)

A part-time program allowing students from nearby slums to attend award-winning vocational courses and learn marketable skills to launch them out of poverty—all while living with their families.

Satellite Vocational Program (2012)

Dangerous travel conditions through drug trafficking and gang territories prevent some children from safely attending day student programs. For these willing students, we take courses to them so they can learn in their own neighborhoods.

satellitevocational-website
graduatechurch-website

Graduate Churches (2005 & 2014)

Two thriving congregations, founded and led by Hope graduates, shape the lives of graduates, their families, and surrounding communities.

Hope Institute (2014)

 An internationally-recognized leader in the development of best practices for residential care, Hope Institute provides cutting-edge training for orphan-care practitioners worldwide. Although beginning as a branch of Hope Unlimited, Hope Institute became its own legal entity in 2017.

hopeinstitute-website

Our History

Hope Unlimited for Children was founded in 1991 by Jack Smith, a Presbyterian missionary, and his son Philip. Responding to the horrific news reports of street children being massacred by vigilantes in Brazil, Jack and Philip boarded a plane with no plans, no contacts, no Portuguese and no money; but God affirmed His plan. On the flight to Brazil, Philip was seated with a young man whose father was on the board of an abandoned orphanage.  He offered to make the introduction and the board agreed to gift this 35-acre parcel of land with several buildings to the fledgling Hope Unlimited for Children.  It was the first miracle.

After visiting the facility which was in considerable disrepair, Jack flew back to the U.S. to raise funds and Philip stayed behind to work with an engineering firm to determine what it would take to make the buildings habitable.  The sum was staggering: almost $120,000!—the equivalent of almost $1mm in today’s dollars!  When Philip called his father to tell him that the estimate was so high as to make the project impossible, Jack told Philip that Menlo Park Presbyterian Church had just received a one-time gift for a global organization in the amount of $120,000.  Although 50 organizations applied, Hope was selected to receive the grant!—the second miracle and evidence that God’s hand was on this ministry.

The initial “City of Youth” project near São Paulo consisted of a boy’s facility with 125 resident children. It provided long-term residential care with a focus on vocational training for boys who were formerly street children. In 1997, additional facilities were constructed to accommodate 85 girls from the streets. In 2012, five additional community-based homes were established.

Meanwhile, in 1999, a second residential facility was established in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. “Hope Mountain” provides residential care for boys age 12 and above who are at extreme risk. The majority used drugs on a regular basis, and many are in state-sanctioned protective custody because of death threats from their involvement with trafficking.

Timeline

City of Youth (1991)

A 35-acre, full service campus near Campinas providing award-winning residential and vocational training programs alongside recreational fields and a working farm.

Graduate Transition Program (1998)

A uniquely structured, personalized approach that helps Hope Unlimited graduates take first steps toward self-reliance and independent living with job placement, business clothes, transitional housing, and emotional support.

hopemountain-website

Hope Mountain (1999)

A 100-acre campus near Vitória providing residential programs for mortal-risk boys and on-site, award-winning vocational training and day student programs for non-residents.

daystudentprogram-website

Day Student Program (2001)

A part-time program allowing students from nearby slums to attend award-winning vocational courses and learn marketable skills to launch them out of poverty—all while living with their families.

satellitevocational-website

Satellite Vocational Program (2012)

Dangerous travel conditions through drug trafficking and gang territories prevent some children from safely attending day student programs. For these willing students, we take courses to them so they can learn in their own neighborhoods.

graduatechurch-website

Graduate Churches (2005 & 2014)

Two thriving congregations, founded and led by Hope graduates, shape the lives of graduates, their families, and surrounding communities.

hopeinstitute-website

Hope Institute (2014)

 An internationally-recognized leader in the development of best practices for residential care, Hope Institute provides cutting-edge training for orphan-care practitioners worldwide. Although beginning as a branch of Hope Unlimited, Hope Institute became its own legal entity in 2017.

Donate

You can provide a home, family, and future for a child of the streets. Change a life today, and the impact will last for generations.

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