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Patty’s Hope is a small non-profit in Richmond, VA working in partnership with the local church, DSS, and many other organizations. We focus on supporting biological mothers whose children have been removed from their custody and placed in foster care. Our program focuses on these 4 key areas:
Safe Housing, Trauma Care, Healthy Community and Life Skills.
We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with these mothers and offer support, friendship, groups, case management and more. It is our hope to see transformation in the lives of these mothers that will bring long-term stability and healthy relationships with their children.

Sunset mom.jpg

Every mom of the 400,000+ children in foster care

has a story




Patty was a mother that had a hard and at times traumatic childhood.  Upon entering motherhood as a teenager, she struggled and experienced further loss and grief as over time she lost custody of each of her children. Then she became pregnant for the fifth time and in 2012 gave birth to a precious baby girl. 

With the birth of this new baby came the hope that she was getting another chance to be the mom she always wanted to be. But at two days old, her baby girl was removed straight from the hospital by Social Services and placed in foster care with Pete and Leila Gunning...



Pete and Leila Gunning moved to Richmond VA from Sydney Australia in hopes to grow their family through adoption. In the process they also heard about the foster care crisis and the need for foster families. They decided to simultaneously pursue both private adoption and fostering.


In July of 2012, The Gunning’s said YES to their very first placement, Patty’s precious baby girl. They were overjoyed by this opportunity to care for this baby girl and were doing their best to trust God with all the pieces. Over the course of the next 7 weeks, something happened that they NEVER expected.


God began to nudge them to SEE Patty, to wonder what her story was, and they were filled with compassion for her situation. After Patty had her baby returned, Pete and Leila felt a deep calling to offer Patty help, support, and friendship, and Patty welcomed them in.


For the next 8 months Patty worked hard at being a good mom and providing for her child. Pete and Leila saw with Patty that a little help can go a long way. There was a small stable village starting to form around Patty and her baby, and it was beautiful to witness. Tragically, a few days before Patty was scheduled to start a new job, she came down with the flu, and 24 hours later she passed away. Pete and Leila were devastated, but God knew that was not the end of Patty’s Story.



Patty left Pete and Leila with a deep commitment to hear the stories behind each birth mother of every child they fostered. Getting to know Patty even in the most difficult moments had been such a joy, she was a beautiful, passionate, funny, and strong woman. Patty was just the first of several women that Pete and Leila have had the opportunity to get to know. Each mother was a learning experience in which they had their eyes opened to the needs of women in similar situations as Patty.  Through these experiences and with the help of friends, family, and area professionals, Patty's Hope was born.


Patty's Hope is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Richmond Virginia with the mission of Help, Hope, and Healing for biological mothers of children in foster care.

To become part of their story, click here

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