Self-proclaimed workaholic Bob Lissner was looking for a place to share his experience and abilities after retiring from his position as the founder of Lifestyle Homes. He found that and more at Northern Nevada HOPES, where he has been volunteering for many years.
“I believe in their mission,” he says. “They’re providing medical care for people who wouldn’t otherwise have access.”
HOPES was originally founded by a group of healthcare professionals who saw the need to provide care for people living with HIV in 1997. Its mission has expanded to provide affordable, high-quality, medical, behavioral health and support services for everyone who needs it, wherever they are in their lives.
They accomplish this through a growing list of services that includes adult and pediatric primary care, chronic disease management, wellness and nutrition, behavioral health counseling, substance use counseling, case management, a pharmacy and more.
While that list is similar to other healthcare facilities in town, HOPES is different in that they provide these services in one convenient location for all populations — including those that are traditionally underserved, like the working poor and people experiencing homelessness.
Providing these services helps HOPES patients, but also the community as a whole. As the COVID-19 crisis has made abundantly clear — the healthier a community’s individuals are, the healthier the community is.
Putting his money where his heart is
Lissner doesn’t just donate his time. He also pledged $25,000 to match any other donations made to the HOPES COVID-19 Response Fund made in the month of June. While Lifestyle Homes has its own foundation, this money is coming out of Lissner’s pocket.
“This is me personally thanking Sharon for the way she runs HOPES,” he explains.
He’s referring to HOPES CEO Sharon Chamberlain.
While a big believer in the mission, Lissner also appreciates the positive mood at HOPES. “HOPES is unusual,” he says. “They’re dealing with health and addiction issues and a number of other problems, but it’s always a happy place. Clients, employees and volunteers are treated well.”
He says all of this is because of Chamberlain. “Sharon sets the tone that we’re all going to be happy and pleasant, and so we are,” he says. “You don’t see that very often.”
HOPES by the numbers
The HOPES operating fund is replenished through grants, donations and insurance. As the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic shutdown has translated to more locals experiencing job loss and related challenges, the number of people who can afford to pay for appointments has steadily dropped. And this is at the same time that donations are also decreasing.
So Lissner’s donation match is more necessary than ever, and it will help a lot of local people — as evidenced by these numbers that show the sheer volume of HOPES impact in a year:
- 10,399 patients
- 66,245 appointments
- 2,724 pediatric patients
- 9,866 pediatric appointments
- 13,740 vaccines given
- 892,053 syringes taken out of the community
- 1,126 HIV tests administered at Change Point
- 86 patients engaged in substance use counseling with 860 visits
- 10,469 behavioral health appointments
- 559 housing assistance recipients
How you can help
Monetary gifts are always welcome. There are also options to establish a monthly gift, volunteer or set up a matching grant program of your own. You can stay updated on HOPES news by subscribing to their newsletter at https://www.nnhopes.org/newsletter/.