Our History

Providing Reentry Services for over 20 Years

Operation New Hope is a leader in the field. United by the belief that we all have the power to change our lives for the better, we enjoy broad bipartisan support. Our work has been praised by the last four White House Administrations, as well as federal, state, and local representatives, law enforcement, and business leaders. 

1999

Operation New Hope was founded to address poverty, crime, homelessness, property disrepair, and drug addiction in the Historic Springfield Neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida and successfully brought together a community once lost to blight and neglect

1999

Operation New Hope was founded to address poverty, crime, homelessness, property disrepair, and drug addiction in the Historic Springfield Neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida and successfully brought together a community once lost to blight and neglect

2003

Our achievements caught the attention of President Bush and he selected Operation New Hope as the pilot site for Ready4Work – a reentry program designed to providing training and support to people returning from incarceration in order to match them with living-wage wage.

2003

Our achievements caught the attention of President Bush and he selected Operation New Hope as the pilot site for Ready4Work – a reentry program designed to providing training and support to people returning from incarceration in order to match them with living-wage wage.

2007

Operation New Hope’s success with the Ready4Work program was applauded by Bill Clinton in his book, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.

2007

Operation New Hope’s success with the Ready4Work program was applauded by Bill Clinton in his book, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.

2008

Presidential candidate Barack Obama recognizes Operation New Hope on the campaign trail.

There are millions of Americans who share a similar view of their faith and feel they have an obligation to help others and are making a difference in communities all across this country – through initiatives like Ready4Work, which is helping ensure that ex-offenders don’t return to a life of crime.

Barack Obama

2008

Presidential candidate Barack Obama recognizes Operation New Hope on the campaign trail.

There are millions of Americans who share a similar view of their faith and feel they have an obligation to help others and are making a difference in communities all across this country – through initiatives like Ready4Work, which is helping ensure that ex-offenders don’t return to a life of crime.

Barack Obama

2010

Ready4Work graduates help with the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup.

2010

Ready4Work graduates help with the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup.

2014

Abe Brown Ministries became the 1st Ready4Work replicated site in Tampa, Florida

2014

Abe Brown Ministries became the 1st Ready4Work replicated site in Tampa, Florida

2016

We were instrumental in development of Project Open Door – Jax Chamber’s Ban-the-Box initiative to encourage employers to delay criminal background inquiries to the interview process which encouraged other cities around the nation to implement more equal hiring practices for people with a criminal history. Jacksonville was one of the first chambers to do so, earning White House recognition. 

2016

We were instrumental in development of Project Open Door – Jax Chamber’s Ban-the-Box initiative to encourage employers to delay criminal background inquiries to the interview process which encouraged other cities around the nation to implement more equal hiring practices for people with a criminal history. Jacksonville was one of the first chambers to do so, earning White House recognition. 

2018

Operation New Hope’s CEO and Founder, Kevin Gay, was invited to the White House on two different occasions. This included the White House Summit on Prisoner Reentry and working with legislators to advance the First Step Act. The First Step Act was a bill credited as having the potential for the most far-reaching overhaul of the criminal justice system – later signed into law by President Trump. The success of the federal First Step Act, along with additional advocacy from Operation New Hope, paved the way for the passing of the Florida First Step Act, reforming the state’s prison and justice systems.

2018

Operation New Hope’s CEO and Founder, Kevin Gay, was invited to the White House on two different occasions. This included the White House Summit on Prisoner Reentry and working with legislators to advance the First Step Act. The First Step Act was a bill credited as having the potential for the most far-reaching overhaul of the criminal justice system – later signed into law by President Trump. The success of the federal First Step Act, along with additional advocacy from Operation New Hope, paved the way for the passing of the Florida First Step Act, reforming the state’s prison and justice systems.

2019

Operation New Hope was recognized by the House of Mandela as a model re-entry program for the world. Kevin Gay received the first Nelson Mandela Freedom Award from the Mandela Family. 

2019

Operation New Hope was recognized by the House of Mandela as a model re-entry program for the world. Kevin Gay received the first Nelson Mandela Freedom Award from the Mandela Family. 

2019

Operation New Hope hosted a roundtable discussion regarding jobs, the economy, and reentry that was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, Governor Ron DeSantis and state representatives. 

Ready4Work is a "model program not only in Florida but for the United States."

Vice President Mike Pence

When you compare Ready4Work’s recidivism rate to the State’s overall, it’s about 1/3 of what it would be absent this program. That’s the type of metrics we want to support.

Governor Ron DeSantis

2019

Operation New Hope hosted a roundtable discussion regarding jobs, the economy, and reentry that was attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, Governor Ron DeSantis and state representatives. 

Ready4Work is a "model program not only in Florida but for the United States."

Vice President Mike Pence

When you compare Ready4Work’s recidivism rate to the State’s overall, it’s about 1/3 of what it would be absent this program. That’s the type of metrics we want to support.

Governor Ron DeSantis

2021

Operation New Hope was honored by Mayor Lenny Curry on behalf of the City of Jacksonville and in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a 2021 recipient of the COJ/HUD Public-Philanthropic Initiative Award.

2021

Operation New Hope was honored by Mayor Lenny Curry on behalf of the City of Jacksonville and in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a 2021 recipient of the COJ/HUD Public-Philanthropic Initiative Award. 

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