Our staff



Executive Director 


Ashley Thomas began at Hope Street as a volunteer in 2012. She joined the Hope Street team in December of 2013 as the Operations Director. In 2015 she was promoted to Assistant Executive Director, and in April of 2016 she was unanimously voted in as the Executive Director. Every day is different but usually includes connecting with people, writing and planning. Ashley has a pulse on the organizational health from the board to staff, our volunteers, and the Hope Street community. Living out the Greenhouse for People brand is essential in all that she does, all in the hope of seeing people flourish.


Ashley received her BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison on a full-ride athletic scholarship for basketball. When Ashley is not at work she is working towards her Masters in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She also enjoys reading, coloring and being outdoors.  

“Our neighborhood is one in whose reputation precedes it. We have addiction, poverty, crime and abuse. All of it, eventually feels like the norm if you stay long enough. Yet, on our corner, we fight against it all, by inviting it in. We acknowledge we bring our own mess in with us, yet somehow together, beauty is made from the ashes. The day I chose to walk into Hope Street, was the day I realized I could never not return.”

                                                               -Ashley Thomas


Hannah Dirkse

Hannah Dirkse joined the Hope Street team in August of 2016 as the Social Worker. She equips our members to live, learn and develop new habits which help all to flourish. She oversees the Flourishing Metric, our relationships with community organizations and available resources for our members. During a typical day at Hope Street you may find her meeting with community partners, creating art with our members, or hanging out with our kiddos. You can often hear Hannah’s contagious laugh before you see her. Hannah is always willing to make the call for more information, ask the difficult question and reflect.


Hannah was born and raised in Wisco. When she isn’t working she enjoys spending time with family and friends, knitting and being active.

“I show up to Hope Street everyday because here you have the freedom to live, learn and develop. You can't fake it nor are you condemned once the veil is removed. You are loved and called into the light.”

                                                        -Hannah Dirkse



Assistant Executive Director


Julie Kulp is a wife to Jesse and mom of two boys, Barrett (8) and Adler (6). She loves being active with her family, spending as much of her time outdoors as possible. She is a learner, teacher, and trainer. She likes to knit, bake, hike, and read in her free-time. In the summer, you can find her supporting her Brew Crew. Go Brewers!

For a decade, Julie has worked in different avenues of vocational Children’s and Family ministry. She is passionate about discipleship, teaching, outreach, and restorative ministry. Through the narrative of her own story and God’s redemptive purposes, Julie has become passionate about the power of story. This has led her to pursue her Masters in Mental Health Counseling. Through relationship, honest conversation, and strategic intervention centered around the word of God, life change is possible.


In November of 2020 Julie joined the Hope Street team as the the Assistant Executive Director. Her role consists of fund development, counseling, leading classes, and building relationships within our community.


Brooke thomas

Director of Community Relations


Brooke graduated from Michigan State University in the fall of 2017 with a BA in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Brooke graduated with a 3.77 in the Honors College. She began to work for Michigan State Women’s Basketball throughout her undergraduate years as an Office Assistant where she aided in organizing several Women’s Basketball events, kids programs, and financial spreadsheets. 


Brooke joined the Hope Street team in May of 2019 and utilizes her gifts to create community with our kiddos and invite the greater community into the culture of Hope Street through social media and volunteer oversight.

"I show up to Hope Street for the yells from windows greeting me as I enter, babies crawling down the hallway, conversation and laughs coming from The Vine, and the overall peace that comes with entering the doorway on 26th and Capitol."

                                                            -Brooke Thomas




Operations Director


Kendall Schoenike is the Operations Director for Hope Street and Shechem. She is in charge of Fund Development, engaging the next generation through our subcommittee Rising Hope and other behind the scenes details. She first served as a Summer Intern in 2019, and officially joined the staff in Spring of 2020. She has a Bachelor of Science in Community & Nonprofit Leadership and Religious Studies with certificates in Sustainability and Leadership from UW-Madison. 

“Hope Street is like home, even when mess piles up around you, you feel a sense of comfort and security. Regardless of how things are going, there are people to count on and people who will make you laugh and smile.” 

                                       -Kendall Schoenike



Rhonda came to Hope Street on August 1, 2017 with her two boys Terrance and Jayden who were 10 and 13 at the time. She recalls feeling an overwhelming peace when she first entered the building. She now knows it was part of God’s plan for her to live and grow here. 


Rhonda is fondly known as “Mama Rhonda” around Hope Street as she cares well for people through providing a listening ear, good advice or a shared meal. 


In September of 2020 Rhonda joined our Hope Street team as the Ministry Director. She is responsible for the application and interview process as well as ensuring people uphold their part of being a member at Hope Street.

“I love being at Hope Street everyday because you get to see God’s work in progress here.

I want to be a part of His plan coming together in people’s lives. I want to share my journey with the community here at Hope Street and show them God’s love.”

                                     -Rhonda Norton


Thomas Tym

Maintenance Coordinator


Thomas Tym joined the Hope Street Board of Directors after TMOC merged with Hope Street in 2012. He served on the Board until the Spring of 2015 at which point he continued to be an active volunteer in the community. In October of 2018 Thomas joined the Hope Street team as the Maintenance Coordinator. On a typical day you can find Thomas running through the building fixing all the "odds and ends" that pop up in a beautiful 100 year old building. Thomas oversees our Serve Saturdays and is always willing to help out where needed.