Hope Clinic for Women was founded in 1983 by a group of community leaders, pastors, priests, physicians and volunteers to meet the unique needs of women in unplanned pregnancies in a safe and confidential environment. For 35 years, we have continued that care while also broadening services to comprehensively meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of many woman. Additionally, we support the important people in her life who are walking with her through the challenges she faces. Since Hope Clinic began addressing the unmet needs of our community in 1983, we have established a strong reputation among clients, donors, and volunteers. Because of our approach, we reach a diverse group of women who cross political, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
In 1983, we began by offering pregnancy tests, options counseling by trained lay volunteers, and free maternity and baby items.
In 1985, we saw the need for women who had already made a past decision to have an abortion and began our post-abortion counseling services. It was not uncommon for women to carry this burden for 10+ years.
After being in operation for 15 years, we saw a growing need/calling to reach young women PRIOR to an unplanned pregnancy. The world was teaching about ‘safe sex’ and we realized it was anything but.
In 1998, when STD rates in Tennessee were one of the worst in the country, the state finally approved funding for abstinence education and we provided after school programs to private and public schools in the most at-risk communities.
In 2001, we hired a part-time Nurse Practitioner to provide ultrasounds/prenatal education and STD testing/treatment. We found this medical care was another great opportunity to help educate women, encourage abstinence and equip them to make healthy choices. In 2009, this position became full time.
In 2007, we began undergraduate and graduate level practicum and work study options in partnership with Vanderbilt, Belmont, Trevecca, Lipscomb, and Tennessee State University. After many years and many clients, we became aware of the various needs our clients face in an unplanned pregnancy: emotional, clinical, practical, medical, and spiritual. To better treat the clinical and give even more focus to the spiritual, we moved all counseling to our professional counselors (staff and master level practicum students from area universities). We moved our lay counselors into the position of Bridge mentor. This is an ongoing 1-on-1 relationship with client and volunteer. Over time, the spiritual mentor has an increased chance for true spiritual guidance.
In 2007, after realizing the impact/influence of other people in the lives of our clients, we added a male therapist on staff to begin a program to counsel the fathers of the baby and the parents of the pregnant woman.
In 2007, we began offering all forms of pregnancy, prevention, and pregnancy loss counseling in a satellite location in Spring Hill, TN.
In 2008, abstinence-based funding was cancelled at the state level, and in 2009 at the federal level thereby ending the after school program. In the last two years we have still been able to reach private schools, community agencies, churches, and a few public schools (as requested) for our abstinence education.
In late 2008, after seeing a prolonged issue of lack of housing for pregnant women (who were also not dealing with other addictions), we opened a maternity home for pregnant women to live before and after delivery. This was ended after 5 years as more residential programs emerged creating more effective referrals and partnerships.
We believed it was important for women to be healthier during their pregnancy and after, and have access to education classes they could not afford. In 2009, in response to this, we redesigned our Material assistance program into the Bridge (Building Relationships with Individuals while Directing them toward Gaining Education) Client Treatment Program, an educational/exchange program including mentors, client classes, and activities to earn points in exchange for maternity and baby needs.
In 2009, out of response from women and area hospitals, we expanded this to include other forms of Pregnancy Loss (miscarriage and stillbirth). This allows our brochure to be in many area hospitals where women who have had an abortion will hear about our Pregnancy Loss Counseling services for the first time.
In 2009, out of a growing need from our own clients and growing statistics reported nationwide, Baptist Hospital reached out to us to receive the training and begin postpartum depression counseling.
In 2010, we began offering professional counseling services to our STD clients. We learned that while many of the women wanted to change their behaviors, there were underlying issues they needed to work through for success.
In 2010, we started bringing on volunteers to help reach the Hispanic community.
In 2014, we hired a part-time Nurse Practitioner to handle the 2-week wait we had for booking pregnancy and prevention medical appointments.
In 2014, we began prescribing medication for anxiety and depression as needed for our counseling clients dealing with grief and trauma. We also increased ‘women and male issues’ counseling to cover sexual addiction and pornography.
In early 2015, we began offer counseling services in Williamson County on Saturdays.
In 2015, we also upgraded our medical visit of STD testing/treatment to include full OB/GYN and Annual Physical care. These services are still offered at a much lower rate than nearby women’s medical clinics.
In 2016, we began offering full women's wellcare visits for women with our Nurse Practitioners, overseen by Medical Doctors on our board.
In 2017, we began offering pregnancy related classes online and expect to expand our library to our core 10 classes in 2018.
In 2017, we began offering texting as a way to communicate to clients during office hours and in the evenings/weekends.