We believe in the sacred privilege of listening. Writers at Holding Out Hope enter into a powerful exchange each time they sit, listen, receive the gift of another’s story, handle it gently, and offer it up to the world. Each story becomes an opportunity to see the humanity we all share. Each photo puts a face to a name.

Our writers are regular folk who facilitate the telling of stories. They are good listeners.

“Love doesn’t mean doing extraordinary or heroic things. It means knowing how to do ordinary things with tenderness.”

— Jean Vanier



Lesley-Anne Evans: is a published poet and Creative Curator for Metro Community. She is a connector, approaching the world with curiosity, always hunting for beauty with her camera and words. Lesley-Anne is the coordinator for Holding Out Hope Stories, and a contributing writer/photographer.

Michele bio photo

Michelle Engel: is an active new member of Metro Arts Poetry Circle, the summertime Steward of Metro’s Little Free Mobile Library, and a Care Worker at Bethesda Group Home. She is relational, energetic, and loves to come alongside others on their journey. Michelle is technical support for this blog, and a contributing writer/photographer.

Story writers, and/or photographers are also noted at the end of each story. Here is a list of those who have contributed to Holding Out Hope so far;


Samantha Cooper: “Relationships are one of the things I value most in my life. To be able to build relationships with the people in our city that most people overlook has given me an incredible capacity and heart for our downtown community.”

Laurence East 

Graham Ord


Kiki Schindel: “I am a world traveller. Missions is my heart and my passion.”

Sandy Shier

If you are a writer and/or photographer and would like to join us at Holding Out Hope, please use the contact form on this website or email to talk about the possibilities.