Hope Now For Youth was founded in Fresno, California on February 1, 1993 to hire Christian collegians to work out of churches as Vocational Placement Counselors for at-risk and gang young men, ages 16 to 24.
Working from our downtown headquarters located at 2305 Stanislaus Street in Fresno, CA, our staff meets youth in the neighborhoods, playgrounds, pool halls, recreation centers and malls of each city, as well as receive referrals from Hope Now transformed youth and law enforcement officers. Four of the youth Hope Now lifted from the streets into the mainstream are now Hope Now counselors. Through building the first caring male relationship a youth has had, and by placing that youth in a job, “throwaway kids” become taxpayers instead of tax burdens, men with a future that can now include school. A Hope Now For Youth Scholarship Fund has been established at Fresno City College to encourage these youth to further their education.
On March 21, 1994, four of our youth were placed at Valley Children’s Hospital. This leading Fresno employer was so impressed with their performance that it wasn’t long before 25 youth were employed, of which 21 were successful. On March 7, 1994 Retlaw Broadcasting Company, KGPE-TV, hired a Hope Now youth to become a camera operator. On August 8, another youth was employed. Piccadilly Inn Hotels, Fresno Plumbing and Heating, Valley Truck Parts, Quickie Designs, Paper Pulp & Film, Pepsi Cola Company, St. Agnes Medical Center, Community Medical Centers, Quiring Corporation, Radisson Hotel and California State University, Fresno are also among the many community-minded businesses which have employed Hope Now Youth.
In 2004 Rev. Roger Minassian retired from active service and Rev. Roger Feenstra was appointed by the board of directors as the new CEO and Executive Director. Since Rev. Minassian’s retirement, Hope Now has continued the same mission and vision of reaching young men trapped in gangs, sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them and placing them in a job.
As of January 2014, we have placed nearly 2,000 young men in first time jobs.