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.”
Brian Cooper joined the Hope Street team in November of 2017 as the Assistant Executive Director. Commonly referred to as “Coop”, he oversees grant research, grant writing and volunteers. A typical day at Hope Street includes time behind a closed door researching and writing, connecting with volunteers and keeping our kids entertained. Coop is responsible for the treats, random facts and sarcasm.
Cooper is husband to Kristie and dad to four children: Evee, Liam, Iona and Clive. When Coop is not at work he can be found spending time with family, dissecting a good movie or book and writing.
“I knew, the day I walked in these doors as the Director for James Place - 26th Street, that this place was different. It felt like another home, the people (members, staff, volunteers), the place, and the peace - it felt like I belonged here. Two years later I still feel that every time my FOB unlocks the door on 26th Street.”
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.”
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.
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.
"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."