Same Name, Different Charity

(Memphis) Making her way down Poplar Estates, a woman riding her Segway, distributes pink trash bags for a clothing donation drive.

“It (the bag) says Hope House but it’s not our logo,” Hope House Memphis Executive Director, Elizabeth Dupont, said. ”If you look carefully the telephone number is a 770- area code which is Atlanta.”

Dupont was told in November that an out-of-state organization also called Hope House was soliciting donations across the Mid-South.

“We received phone calls from people upset pink bags were being distributed in their neighborhoods. The bags were causing littering problem,” she said.

A bigger problem she says is that people think her organization is behind it.

“It’s a real confusion because we are all about children who are impacted with HIV/AIDS.  They are domestic violence, which is a wonderful mission as well, but people are confusing us with them and they’re upset by what’s happening,” she said.

So Hope House Memphis sent the group a cease and desist letter. It was ignored.

Hope House Atlanta Executive Director Greg Kennard apologized for the confusion.

 “The name Hope House is used by thousands of organizations in the U.S. and sometimes we run into interference there, but that was not our intention,” he told News Channel 3.

He said 15,000 people each week donate to his clothing drive, which he calls legit.

“Hundreds of women and children are getting their lives turned around because of this clothing drive,” he said. “A lot of people out there that like what we’re doing and say yes to what we’re doing,”

But we found multiple online complaints about ‘telemarketers’ from his organization seeking donations.

The group, also known as Nspire, received an F rating with the BBB in Atlanta.

“I can’t respond to everything that’s written,” he said.”I assure you we are above board.”

Still, Hope House Memphis wants them out of town.

“Our concern was they were developing a relationship with these people that was not honest. They were looking like we were doing it and it wasn’t us. We were creating a lot of enemies rather than friends for our children.”

But Kennard’s organization is not going anywhere. Hope House Atlanta told us it will open a location here in Memphis in the next two weeks, but it will operate as Hope for Domestic Violence.