Project HOPE

Project HOPE, a partnership between the City of Dubuque and the Community Foundation, works to increase opportunity for all community members. Project HOPE convenes philanthropy, business, government, education, workforce and service providers to: 

  • support provider networks for change
  • expand pathways to education and employment
  • build financial inclusion

Download the Project HOPE information sheet.
University of Iowa Portrait of Poverty Study.

Support provider networks for change

Community Needs Assessment

In 2016, Project HOPE partnered with the United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States to conduct a needs assessment that took a focused look at needs and barriers to opportunity in Dubuque. To select focus areas, 75 professionals were surveyed from a broad cross-section of service providers. Mental health and child care services were overwhelmingly identified as pressing needs. 

Project HOPE seeks to increase access to opportunity for all by creating awareness and exploring solutions to systemic barriers. Our hope is that this needs assessment will serve as a resource to help inform the work of those in the field; influence current programming; aid efforts to obtain funding and resources; and provide data to help engage policy makers. This summary focuses on the mental health findings.

Needs Assessment Information Sheet

Download the Mental Health Key Findings >

Download the Child Care Services Key Findings > 

Coaches' Peer-Learning Network

A peer-learning opportunity that connects providers to community resources and encourages inter-agency referrals to remove barriers for clients. 

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Expand pathways to education and employment

Re-engage Dubuque

Re-engage Dubuque connects youth ages 16 to 21 who did not complete high school to alternative education options and post-secondary education. Re-engagement coaches work with these young people to develop personalized plans for completing a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma and exploring options for further study and careers.

Re-engage information sheet

Success Stories

Joseph Schwenker

Opportunity Dubuque 

Connects workers to training and connects employers with skilled workers

  • Provides scholarships for advanced manufacturing training
  • Connects newly trained workers with employers
  • Employer partnerships support orientation, training and interviews

Opportunity Dubuque information sheet

Success Stories

Frederick Hoag

Justin Beck

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Build financial inclusion

Bank On Dubuque

Connects unbanked and under-banked families to traditional financial services through partnerships with local financial institutions.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Outreach 

Through outreach tax assistance, Operation New View helps low-income families maximize their tax returns. The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate -income working individuals and families designed to offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive to work. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit. Each year, residents can take advantage of several free tax preparation sites throughout Dubuque.

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Circles Initiative

  • Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin'-By World is a program designed for people in poverty to help them understand the hidden rules of the middle class, as well as the communication, values and expectations that can help bridge the gap between the two classes. Participants learn the Bridges out of Poverty concept based on Ruby Payne and Phillip DeVol's research on poverty.
  • Circles provides ongoing support to Getting Ahead graduates.
  • Both programs connect people in poverty to services that address barriers to employment

Volunteer opportunities and donations needed for these programs.

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Lana Wood
Title Project HOPE Coordinator
700 Locust Street
Suite 195
Dubuque, IA 52001


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