During Paige Dinger’s first week as a volunteer in 2015 at Faces of Hope, she met an 8-year-old boy recovering from physical abuse. After watching his mother endure repeated violence from her boyfriend, the child decided to step in one night.
His courageous act was met with rage from the man. After a long medical recovery and the abuser removed from the picture, a team of caregivers at Faces of Hope discharged the boy to go home.
Physicians, social workers, police officers and counselors formed a human tunnel inside the Faces of Hope building in downtown Boise as the boy marched through — wearing a big smile with a blanket and stuffed animal in tow.
“He walked out of Faces of Hope feeling like a champion,” Dinger said. “Everyone was there for one purpose, and it was to keep this kid safe. It was the coolest thing ever.”
Five years later, Dinger is the executive director. She has embraced Faces of Hope’s mission to provide urgent, trauma-informed services to survivors of abuse—and to do so in a collaborative environment.
Under one roof, the Faces of Hope building acts as a comprehensive triage center with more than a dozen community organizations working together to serve victims of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and stalking.
“When you are a victim of abuse, it used to be that you would have to navigate the judicial system; you would navigate mental health services and physical health resources if you needed that,” Dinger said. “Often times, the resources were sporadic.”
Faces of Hope set out to change that, and Dinger wants to let the community know the organization and its partners are ready to serve those in need, especially as October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Faces of Hope has seen a massive increase in demand for services. Over the last five months, the nonprofit organization has supported a 2,500% increase in protection orders for survivors than in the same period last year.
The organization has also experienced a 450% increase in demand for nights of emergency shelter. Also, in partnership with St. Luke’s CARES (Children At Risk Evaluation Services) clinic, more than 20 children suffering from severe head trauma have been treated.
Family medicine physician Dr. Ashley King helps meet that heightened demand. Employed by St. Luke’s Health System, Dr. King serves as a medical director at Faces of Hope, caring for survivors and addressing their long-term needs.
“When people come to Faces of Hope, they are the most broken and they feel completely hopeless,” Dinger said. “Dr. King’s complete, wraparound care has brought so much hope to people. When they leave Faces of Hope, they almost look as if they are a different person because they start seeing that there’s a glimmer of hope.”
Dr. King serves as a leader in St. Luke’s connection with Faces of Hope. St. Luke’s was among the organization’s first community partners when it opened in 2006. Dr. King has helped grow the partnership in the years since, along with St. Luke’s Vice President of Quality Operations Jodi Vanderpool, who is on the board of directors.
St. Luke’s also provides financial support for Faces of Hope.
“To have St. Luke’s partnership, it shows that we have this important mission and we are working together for a purpose, and that’s to keep people safe and healthy,” Dinger said.
Daniel Mediate works in the St. Luke’s Community Engagement department.