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Who We Are


Hi-Hope Service Center envisions a world where people with developmental disabilities experience acceptance and inclusion as full community members.


Hi-Hope Service Center cultivates community for adults with developmental disabilities by connecting them with integrated opportunities for learning, work and leisure.

Our Value Statement

Hi-Hope believes that all adults with developmental disabilities should be recognized as valuable, contributing community members and have the opportunity to live, work and play in integrated community settings. We communicate that adults with developmental disabilities are a resource for our community and our focus is on the substance of their contributions.

We recognize that the alternative to a program like Hi-Hope for individuals with developmental disabilities is often one of isolation, stagnation and devaluation. Offering individuals the opportunity to build community, experience personal growth and obtain significance is the life-transforming work to which Hi-Hope aspires. Further, our community is changed when all individuals are welcomed. Working to show our community that we are more alike than we are different from individuals with developmental disabilities enriches our community. Our community is transformed when all of us can participate and contribute.

All People:

  • Have value and should be treated with dignity and respect
  • Can contribute to the community
  • Should be supported in ways that are important to and important for them
  • Have the right to make choices about their services which should:
    • Be person-centered
    • Be delivered in a caring manner
    • Be of quality
    • Focus on abilities

Hi-Hope Service Center was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in 1960. It was founded by the parents of six young students form Gwinnett County as one of the first organizations in Georgia to teach children with intellectual disabilities. Under the capable leadership of Mrs. Vinie Lowry, and support from many parents and the greater Gwinnett community, construction of a special needs school was completed in 1970. In the late 1990s, when all student programs were integrated into the public schools, Hi-Hope successfully transitioned to an organization supporting developmentally disabled adults.

In 2005, Hi-Hope began a philosophical shift to supporting people using person-centered strategies. To begin this process Hi-Hope applied for and was granted a three-year, $534,000 grant from the Goizueta Foundation to implement self-determination principles. These funds provided therapy assessment services and specialists and community activities development. During the second year of this program, Hi-Hope applied for and was accepted into the “Good 2 Great: Person-Centered Thinking” program offered by the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

A successful capital campaign was completed in 2008, securing gifts totaling $2.7 million. These gifts resulted in the renovation of the service center on Hi-Hope Road, the addition of four group homes, and the establishment of a maintenance endowment.

Hi-Hope was invited to apply for a second $500,000 grant by Goizueta Foundation which began in July 2009. This grant provided for a full-time employee to train and coach our staff so that person—centered principles could be fully institutionalized throughout the organization; it also supported the availability of our specialists to continue assessments, as well as protocol training of staff and the development of training partnership with other like organizations.

In 2013, at the conclusion of the Goizueta Foundation grant, Hi-Hope applied for and was granted a gift from the Kingdom Investments Program of the Perimeter Church. This technology themed grant provided funds for two key individual supports. A unique day program curriculum was developed with a focus on literacy, numeracy, social skills and safety, among other topics. This curriculum program was paired with a process for reviewing the communication needs of individuals by an Assistive Technology Specialist. Low and high tech communication solutions were implemented with identified individuals and training provided to staff. Plans are underway to obtain funding to continue this important work. A strategic plan completed in June 2014 has communication supports as a centerpiece.


As a private, non-profit corporation, Hi-Hope Service Center relies on a variety of funding sources to fulfill its mission. State and Federal matching funds represent the majority of Hi-Hope's revenue and therefore, Hi-Hope's budget is often negatively affected by the need for these agencies to cut their budgets. Revenue sources include:

  • Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities
  • Medicaid Waiver
  • Gwinnett County Community Development Block Grant
  • Local, Regional, and Federal Grants
  • Fee Generation
  • Fundraising Events
  • Donations

Hi-Hope maintains services and meets the ever increasing costs of utilities, insurance, and other fixed costs by:

  • Developing new partnerships and collaborations
  • Generating much needed operating funds through several annual fundraising events
  • Increasing endowments
  • Completing successful annual fund campaigns
  • Increasing volunteer participation