Hope Unlimited for Children

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/23/2021. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


The problem is millions of homeless children on Brazil's city streets-a killing field where a nation's youth survive as commodities for drugs, sex, and violent crime. In the late '80s, when Philip Smith and his father, Jack, first heard about the plight of Brazil's street children, off-duty police were becoming after-dark death squads, systematically exterminating thousands of the "public nuisances" for local business owners. Fortunately, the government was able get a handle on the situation. But for a child on the streets, the children's life expectancy still amounts to three to five years.

An estimated 7 to 8 million Brazilian children are on the streets-living, breathing refuse of desperately poor homes, where parents have turned to drugs, alcohol, and crime. And this is the world of Hope Unlimited-organized in 1991 to reclaim and parent the lost children of Brazil.

Over the past 30 years, reaching deeply into one life at a time, Hope Unlimited has embraced thousands of children-including their next generations. And when Hope succeeds, the cycle is broken: a child grows up to become a productive and contributing member of society. Even more importantly, they have become loving and Godly parents. Fully 92% of the boys and girls who completed the residential program at Hope Unlimited are employed today.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Hope Unlimited for Children
3130 Alpine Road
Ste 288-125
Portola Valley, CA 94028

Website: www.hopeunlimited.org

Phone: (888) 444-1344

Email: info@hopeunlimited.org

Organization details

EIN: 330480141

CEO/President: Mr. Philip Smith

Chairman: Mr. Paul Husby

Board size: 9

Founder: Rev. Jack Smith, Philip Smith, David Swoap

Ruling year: 1991

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1995


Hope Unlimited provides comprehensive residential care, transforming lives of adolescents who have nowhere else to turn. We are, literally, their last resort. Our kids come from the worlds of sex trafficking, drug running, incarceration, and life on the streets. At our campuses in Campinas and Vitria, Brazil they find hope.

Our children have been abandoned, exploited, and abused. They know what it means to have no place to turn. Before coming to us, they have life expectancies of three to five years.

Children are nurtured in a family-style setting and receive award-winning educational and vocational training. We see them transform from the inside out as they begin to build bright futures.

Hope raises the next generation of self-sufficient, Christian leaders who will reach their own potential, renew their communities, and prevent the same injustices they once faced.

Mission statement

Hope Unlimited uses the following to express its mission:

Hope Unlimited rescues and cares for children and teenagers living in the streets in situations of imminent risk. Hope's goal is for each one to become a fulfilled and contributing member of society, filled with unlimited hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Statement of faith

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Relief and Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating464 of 99938 of 82
Fund acquisition rating708 of 100159 of 82
Resource allocation rating678 of 100153 of 82
Asset utilization rating62 of 9996 of 82

Click here to read Hope Unlimited for Children's response to our ratings

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$35,478$6,619$19,310$17,894$17,894
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$215,678$181,361$223,687$162,539$180,326
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$5,916$337$692$1,886$3,206
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$5,916$337$692$1,886$3,206
Total assets$221,594$181,698$224,379$164,425$183,532
Payables and accrued expenses$64,656$34,633$28,882$56,056$45,819
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$64,656$34,633$28,882$56,056$45,819
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total liabilities$64,656$34,633$28,882$56,056$45,819
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$120,724$147,065$115,497$108,369$137,713
With donor restrictions$36,214$0$80,000$0$0
Net assets$156,938$147,065$195,497$108,369$137,713
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,578,140$1,522,502$1,481,945$1,398,055$1,204,311
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income($805)$0$0($518)($288,571)
Other revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Total other revenue($805)$0$0($518)($288,571)
Total revenue$1,577,335$1,522,502$1,481,945$1,397,537$915,740
Program services$1,296,341$1,289,193$931,221$1,184,797$1,077,951
Management and general$125,915$159,126$231,131$120,690$98,745
Total expenses$1,567,337$1,570,790$1,393,809$1,426,881$1,263,579
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$9,998($48,288)$88,136($29,344)($347,839)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$9,998($48,288)$88,136($29,344)($347,839)


Philip SmithCEO Hope Unlimited For Chi$160,311
David NowellExecutive Director Hope In$151,847
Laura Becker-LewkeEmployee$120,498

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2019

Response from ministry


Hope Unlimited International's mission is to provide residential and vocational training to street children in Brazil. To carry out this mission, we need physical facilities in which to house and train the children. These long-term assets currently represent 86% of our total assets. This asset mix, and the accumulation of annual surpluses necessary to build up and expand our facilities, penalizes HUI on the efficiency measures selected by Wall Watchers. HUI values these ratings as useful tools, and hopes that Wall Watchers would consider developing a more relevant "peer" subset against which to measure the effectiveness of organizations like HUI that do not simply channel funds received out to their programs in the current accounting period.

Another aspect not dealt with in these standards of efficiency is HUI's long standing policy that Board members and friends cover all the administrative costs in the US, thereby allowing all funds received from donors to be passed straight through to the Brazilian programs.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 6/23/2021. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Hope Unlimited for Children was founded in 1991 by Jack Smith, a Presbyterian missionary, and his son Philip. Responding to the horrific news reports of street children being massacred by vigilantes in Brazil, Jack and Philip boarded a plane with no plans, no contacts, no Portuguese and no money; but God affirmed His plan. On the flight to Brazil, Philip was seated with a young man whose father was on the board of an abandoned orphanage. He offered to make the introduction and the board agreed to gift this 35-acre parcel of land with several buildings to the fledgling Hope Unlimited for Children. It was the first miracle.

After visiting the facility which was in considerable disrepair, Jack flew back to the U.S. to raise funds and Philip stayed behind to work with an engineering firm to determine what it would take to make the buildings habitable. The sum was staggering: almost $120,000!-the equivalent of almost $1mm in today's dollars! When Philip called his father to tell him that the estimate was so high as to make the project impossible, Jack told Philip that Menlo Park Presbyterian Church had just received a one-time gift for a global organization in the amount of $120,000. Although 50 organizations applied, Hope was selected to receive the grant!-the second miracle and evidence that God's hand was on this ministry.

The initial "City of Youth" project near Sao Paulo consisted of a boy's facility with 125 resident children. It provided long-term residential care with a focus on vocational training for boys who were formerly street children. In 1997, additional facilities were constructed to accommodate 85 girls from the streets. In 2012, five additional community-based homes were established.

Meanwhile, in 1999, a second residential facility was established in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. "Hope Mountain" provides residential care for boys age 12 and above who are at extreme risk. The majority used drugs on a regular basis, and many are in state-sanctioned protective custody because of death threats from their involvement with trafficking.

Program accomplishments

30 Years of Service

22 Programs

92% Graduate Success


Our most critical activities, such as evangelism, job training, and graduate transition, are paid for exclusively with your gifts. A significant portion of our entire annual budget comes through end-of-the year contributions. The amount we receive each year determines how many lives we can touch. Please pray about what you may be able to do.