HOPE Program

 Through a grant of the Victim of Crime Act, Catholic Charities of Tennessee started the Hope Program in 1998. This program provides: 

  • Free, short-term, trauma-focused counseling 
  • Individual and group support for children ages 4 to 18 in Davidson County 

Potential clients

  • Children who have lost loved ones to violent crime 
  • Children who have witnessed violent crimes, domestic violence, or assault in their homes or communities 
  • Children who have been indirectly (via a loved one) or directly victimized by the following crimes: assault, arson, physical or sexual abuse, bullying, burglary, child pornography, hate crimes, human trafficking, identity theft/financial crimes, kidnapping, mass violence, robbery, stalking/harassment, teen dating violence, DUI/DWI incidents, vehicular victimization, and terrorism 

Individual and Group Counseling

Counseling sessions use interactive activities in individual and group settings to engage children in topics such as: 

  • Changes in emotions and behaviors after witnessing violence 
  • Stages of grief 
  • Expressing feelings in appropriate ways 
  • Increasing personal safety 
  • Healthy and appropriate coping skills 
  • Normalizing traumatic experiences 

Parent Education

In addition to working with children, Hope Program counselors provide parents education on trauma, parenting skills, communication, and other important topics.

Community Workshops

The Hope Program also offers community workshops on topics such as: 

  • Recognizing trauma symptoms in children 
  • Stages of grief 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Dealing with peer pressure 

These workshops are done in schools and organizations throughout Davidson County and are provided free of charge. 

The HOPE Program Team

  • Melissa Smith, Hope Program Coordinator
  • Hannah Clark, Hope Bilingual Counselor
  • Erin Powell, Hope Counselor
  • Corisa Ricciardi, Hope Bilingual Counselor
  • Ryan Uebelhor, Hope Counselor
  • Emily Olson, Graduate Student Intern
  • Grace Rollins, Graduate Student Intern
  • Bryanna Yates, Graduate Student Intern

Graduate student interns are selected based on their strong clinical skills, knowledge of trauma, and desire to serve children and families impacted by trauma. They have the opportunity to shadow program counselors and to provide counseling to clients with appropriate supervision. 

Melissa Smith

(615) 917-9210
Related Information

Some additional pages on our website you might find valuable.

Emotional Support
School Counseling
Individual and Family Counseling