Mission & History

Our Mission and History

Our Mission

Volunteers of America Mid-States creates positive change in the lives of individuals and communities through a ministry of service.

At Volunteers of America, our mission is to change lives. 

Established in 1896, Volunteers of America Mid-States is one of the region's oldest, largest and most diverse not-for-profit organizations. When we were founded, the common understanding of “volunteer” was someone who dedicated their life to helping others.  That’s what we did in 1896, and that’s what we do today. 

But a few things have changed.  Today, our team of nearly 600 paid and trained professionals operates more than 40 distinct human service programs in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Clark and Floyd Counties in Indiana. We reach people through more than 40 programs across 4 states.

Our programs are diverse and address the urgent needs of our communities. We provide housing for families, veterans and low-income seniors.  We provide addiction recovery services for men and women and our Freedom House program is a national model for pregnant and parenting women overcoming substance use disorder.  We provide care and support for individuals with developmental disabilities.  We provide healing and accountability that brings people together with restorative justice. We provide free, convenient and confidential HIV testing and education as well as syringe exchange services.

Volunteers of America Mid-States is a local affiliate of Volunteers of America, which is based in Alexandria, Virginia.  We operate under a national charter and provide services that address local community needs.

Volunteers of America Mid-States is governed by a voluntary 29-member Board of Directors, President & CEO Jennifer Hancock, and seven executive team members. In addition to employing nearly 600 staff members we also engage approximately 1,400 volunteers each year.

Working in partnership with government agencies and leaders, businesses, individuals, local faith congregations, and other non-profit organizations — and supported by thousands of individual donors and volunteers — we address the most pressing social needs in the communities we serve.

Programs are funded through diverse funding streams, including federal, state, and local grants and contracts.  We work closely with private foundations and also receive contributions from individual donors. We are transparent in our finances and invest approximately 84 cents of every dollar  on direct services.

Our History

Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 by social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth. They envisioned a movement dedicated to “reaching and uplifting" the American people. On behalf of the organization, the Booths pledged to “go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand." That declaration continues to guide Volunteers of America's outreach efforts today, even as we deliver services by our trained, professional staff.

Volunteers of America opened its first location in Kentucky in 1896 — the same year Ballington and Maud Booth founded the national organization — bringing food and medicine to people not served by other charities.