The Foundation of HOPE is an interfaith non-profit with the mission of “Empowering people impacted by the criminal justice system to renew their faith, rebuild their lives, and restore positive relationships.”



The History of HOPE

Since 2002, the Foundation of HOPE has been providing a continuum of care for those impacted by the criminal justice system in Allegheny County.

The Foundation of HOPE grew out of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania’s (CASP) former chaplaincy program. CASP incubated, fostered, and nurtured the growth of HOPE. The two organizations continue to work closely with one another as partners in ministry.

The Foundation of HOPE offers incarcerated individuals and returning citizens the opportunity for a new life by offering three distinct elements of a continuum of care: Chaplaincy, Pre-Release, and Reentry. We offer chaplaincy services and pre-release programs in the Allegheny County Jail. Our Reentry office on Pittsburgh’s North Side serves returning citizens coming out of county, state, and federal institutions. The Foundation of HOPE also has a diversion program for youths. This program addresses the needs of youths who commit non-violent, low- to medium-level offenses, keeping them out of the cycle of adjudication and incarceration.

The goals of the programs are accomplished through counseling, religious services, discipleship, practical resources and referrals, life skills education within and outside the jail, choice awareness training, and one-on-one mentoring. HOPE serves individuals regardless of their race, age, ethnic background, or faith tradition.

The Foundation of HOPE became a registered 501(c)(3) in 2006.

Allegheny County Jail

The Foundation of HOPE currently offers its programs in Allegheny County but expects to expand services to other areas over the next few years.

Meet the HOPE Team

Rev. Dr. LaWana Butler

Rev. Dr. LaWana Butler

Executive Director

Amy Cooper

Amy Cooper

Operations Director

Rev. Dr. Charissa Howe

Rev. Dr. Charissa Howe

Director of Chaplaincy Services

Deacon Keith G. Kondrich

Deacon Keith G. Kondrich

Chaplaincy Services Coordinator/Mentoring Program

Liz Lepore

Liz Lepore

Pre-Release Director

Dr. Ameela Boyd

Dr. Ameela Boyd

Reentry Program Manager

LaToya Wright

LaToya Wright

Youth Diversion Coordinator

Our Board of Directors


Rev. Caitlin Werth, President — Wavery Presbyterian Church

The Rev. Brenda Gregg, Vice President — Project Destiny

Tom McCarthy, Secretary — Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Retired


Cynthia Ackron Baldwin — Retired Justice, Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Rev. Liddy Barlow (ex-officio)Christian Associates of Southwest PA

Maurita BryantPittsburgh Bureau of Police, Retired

Mark DeAndrea — Rooney Sports & Entertainment Group, LLC

Laurie Du Chateau, EsquireBuck Consultants

Amy McNicholas Kroll — Re-entry, Allegheny County Jail

Jocelyn Paige Torres Farmers National Bank, Branch Manager

Removing the Roadblocks to Recovery

Without the right support and direction, a released person’s capacity to make responsible decisions and avoid repeat offenses is undoubtedly compromised. A previously released three-year study shows that incarcerated individuals who received after-care services were significantly less likely to recidivate. In addition, the study indicated that for every $1 invested in social services, $6 in recidivism costs were saved.

The following insightful reports are available for more information about the need for aftercare services:

Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services Resource Guide offers a wealth of resources. Please click the following link to review the complete list of resources it offers, as well as those offered by other local agencies.

Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services Resource Guides

Visit our Resources Page for more helpful tools.

Join the HOPE Team!

The Foundation of HOPE has exciting opportunities for dedicated individuals who want to help make a difference in our community.

The Foundation of HOPE is committed to providing a non-discriminatory employment environment for its employees. The policy of the Foundation of HOPE is to fully comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations in the area of non-discrimination in employment. Discrimination against employees and applicants due to race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, disability, age (40 years or older), military, and veteran status is prohibited.

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