HOPE Program

 Through a grant of the Victims 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 3 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, LMSW, Clinical Program Manager
  • Julie Bolles, LSMW, Compliance Program Manager
  • Meg Braun, MSSW, Clinical Therapist
  • Hannah Clark, LMSW, Bilingual Clinical Therapist 
  • Ryan Uebelhor, LMSW, Clinical Therapist 
  • Eden Henderson, Graduate Student Intern
  • Lauren Sink, Graduate Student Intern
  • Gabrielle Wood, 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. 

Contact Us
Melissa Smith, LMSW, Clinical Program Manager

(615) 917-9210
Related Information

Some additional pages on our website you might find valuable.

Emotional Support
School-Based Services
Individual and Family Counseling