it all starts with
New Hope Center for Grief Support is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to bringing hope, healing, and new beginnings to adults and children grieving the death of a loved one.
Our vision as a bereavement resource center for Southeast Michigan is to see those who’ve come through our program create a safe, understanding community for others in grief and help change the way our culture responds to grief and loss. We do this through two methods:
- Direct grief support services
- Community Outreach, Training, and Practical Resources
New Hope Center for Grief Support is committed to serving all members of the community with love, courage, and humility. Our program is open to everyone, regardless of beliefs. Our primary purpose is to help people process their grief in a safe environment while staff and volunteers reflect these values through our actions and service.
Our Program is built on Five Pillars:
- Age and loss specific Peer Support
- Grief Education built to help understand the uniqueness of each person’s grief journey
- Connection to others who’ve experienced loss, including social outings and events
- Empowerment of volunteer leaders to guide others along the grief journey
- Service opportunities that bring meaning and purpose after loss
How We Help
New Hope Center for Grief Support was founded in 2000 by Cathy Clough, a woman who had experienced the pain of grief and the challenges of being a young widow raising three kids. As she healed, she found new beginnings in life by supporting countless others of all ages and losses through their own grief journey. Guided by her Christian faith, she modeled the core values of New Hope. She led with love, acted with courage, and served with humility. Since then, New Hope Center has served thousands of grieving individuals and families throughout Southeast Michigan.
Jennifer came on board as the Outreach and Event Coordinator in the summer of 2018. Her passion and energy helped increase New Hope’s Reach and impact, leading to her taking on the position of interim, and then full Executive Director in January 2020. This year, 2023, marks Jennifer’s fifth year as a New Hope team member. During this time, New Hope has extended its reach, serving more grievers with greater capacity by creating new loss-specific grief groups and new programs and reaching grievers in more geographic locations. She was quick to recognize the impact of COVID and the burden of loss it created which demanded new and different kinds of peer groups and the use of Zoom technology to reach those who were not able to attend in person sessions. She participates in the National Alliance for Children’s Grief online learning and webinars and other training. Jennifer sits on the following councils: Northville Community Cares, Ascension Community Health Advisory Committee, Community Mental Health Associations through St. Mary Mercy Hospital’s Let’s Continue the Conversation Committee. She collaborates with Wayne Western School Districts. She is a trained facilitator for The Leader in Me school programs. She developed and led training for The Seven Habit of Highly Successful Families for Marine Elementary School. Additionally, Hegira Health invited her to present at the Focus on Zero suicide prevention conference, moderating their celebrity panel. Like other staff and volunteers, she received Trauma Information Training and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Crisis Training.
Jen spends part of her time training other organizations’ team members on how to support those in grief. She is also helping to create and implement curriculum to support grieving students based on their developmental stages. She has seen firsthand those who have come through our program in turn create a safe environment for new grievers and positively influence the way our society responds to grief.
Valerie joined the New Hope staff in May of 2018 as the Office Administrator. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in writing. Valerie’s connection with New Hope started at a young age when, after losing her father, her family reached out for support and was one of the first families to go through New Hope’s program. Because of her experience, she grew up wanting to help others through grief and had even considered New Hope her “dream job” as a high school student! Prior to New Hope, Valerie worked with children who have autism and continues to volunteer at her church helping adults with special needs.
Courtney joined our team in October 2021. She is an Eastern Michigan University alum with a knack for event planning and a passion for helping others. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, reading and going camping with her family. She and her husband Matt have 3 children – Noah, Ella and Jonah. Their family came to New Hope after losing their middle child, Ella Jane, at only 15 months. They have honored Ella through various volunteer opportunities at Mott Children’s Hospital, where she was a VIP patient. Courtney is excited to carry on in Ella’s memory through the work at New Hope.
Susan joined the team in February 2022 as the Volunteer and Events Coordinator, and in October 2022 she took on the new role of Assistant Director. She has her college educational background in counseling and early childhood education, which has provided her with great experiences of working and helping others throughout her career.
Susan’s connection to New Hope began when she moved to the Northville area and wanted to get involved in helping in the community. Susan has experienced personal losses in her own life, and she has also walked alongside others through their grief journeys with her husband, who served as a pastor and now as a chaplain. Susan believes that the services and programming that New Hope provides are so beneficial, and the team of volunteers that want to serve and give back is so inspiring. Starting this year, Susan helps lead and support the teen group, and has seen firsthand how helpful grief support and building community with others can be during times of greatest loss. She is excited to be part of the New Hope team and help grow and bring these services to the community.
In her free time, Susan enjoys traveling, biking, running, camping, and spending time spoiling her nieces and nephews.
Jessica joined the New Hope team as the Program manager at the end of February 2023. Jessica learned about the valuable support that New Hope provides when she saw the change it made in her mother during her grief journey after the loss of her father. Prior to working at New Hope, she spent 20+ years in various positions in local government, most recently as a Recreation Supervisor for the City of Novi. The programming experience she gained from this role will be beneficial as the Program Manager.
Jessica is married with two sons, a rambunctious pug, and two cats. In the family’s spare time, they like to explore downtown Plymouth. Jessica also enjoys reading, tennis and pickleball.
Lindsey joined the New Hope staff in May 2022 as the Business Manager. Her Northville connections, experiences with events, and non-profit management allow her to fit right in with our growing team. She enjoys spending her time in the warmth of the sun and crafting.
Grief Support Specialist
Adam’s first experience volunteering with New Hope was at our annual Kid’s Camp in 2022, go, red team! After those incredible two days, he was quickly recruited to help with New Hope’s teen groups and school-based grief support.
Adam graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint and later completed his Master of Divinity Degree from Temple Baptist Seminary. Adam is an ordained minister and works as a prison chaplain. Part of his duties as a chaplain includes giving death notifications to inmates when there is a death in their family, walking with the inmates through their grief, and notifying the inmate’s family if an inmate dies. As a prison chaplain, Adam has also been the Crisis Support Team Leader and is currently on the Correctional Support Team at the prison. His role on the Correctional Support Team is to notify staff when there is a staff death and to provide support to the staff during their grief and loss. Adam has also provided funeral services for staff, friends, and family.
Before Adam started his career with the federal government he worked as a youth pastor and a small group’s pastor. Working with children and teens has always been a passion for him, and he continues to volunteer at his church in those areas and spends weeks in the summer speaking at teen camp.
Once Adam realized the great need in his community to help provide grief support and grief education to the children, teens, and school staff, he started learning more about grief education and bereavement. He started working with the New Hope team assisting with facilitator training, speaking at the New Hope Superpower Seminar, and facilitating our teen groups on-site and at local public schools. He recently completed The Grief Support Specialist Program at Northern Michigan University through Continuing Education and Workforce Development to receive his certificate for grief support specialist.
Giving teens a safe space to express their grief and build community with other students is a privilege, and Adam is thankful that he can help provide the support that we all need after we have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Kevin joined the New Hope staff in August of 2022 as an intern. He is currently attending Wayne State University for his bachelor’s in Social Work and plans on finishing his degree next May. After his BSW is complete he has an interest to pursue a career in grief counseling. Kevin’s connection to New Hope began when he was looking for a location for his BSW field placement. Kevin has experienced personal losses during his life and wanted to give back to the community.
Board of Directors
Ed Doody, Chairman
Donna Melonio, Secretary
Maryellen Lewandowski, Treasurer
Cathy Clough, Founder & Executive Director Emeritus
John & Betty Baird, Founding Board Chairman