Ministry News October 2018
John & Lorraine Gillespie started Alpha & Omega Freedom Ministries in 1988. It was started as a prison and jail ministry for men and offered a halfway house for several years. It seemed that the women and children were left to fend for themselves, while the men were provided for during incarceration. God did a definite change in this ministry's focus. Eleven years ago, with the help of a very large donation, a $150,000 deposit was given to us to buy Hannah's House Shelter (Domestic Violence Victims and Homeless Women & Children). Five years later, AOFM, Inc. built Hannah's House Complex: an income based 17-unit apartment complex where our clients can rent their own 1 bedroom apartment and still be a part of the program.
Lorraine & John Gillespie, founders
Hannah's House was named by God and then we learned that "Hannah" meant "Grace". This very large, beautiful country home is showing "God"s Grace" to women and children who are suffering from abuse and/or homelessness. It is a faith-based program designed to help the ladies better their lives...to be healed from their past and work toward a promising new future.
Many of our ladies come to us with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Most have no car, no job and no money. AOFM, Inc. provides all of their needs including food, shelter, clothing and transportation. Through our Community Counseling Center, AOFM, Inc. also provides classes for self- improvement including parenting, self-esteem, inner healing, and domestic violence survivor education so they will never end up in a vulnerable situation again. Hannah's House is NOT just a shelter; it is a program designed to offer a better way of life.
We help many of the ladies obtain employment or finish their education when they are ready to do so. It takes
time to heal from the trauma that they have experienced and it is a slow process to get them settled and secured in their new environment. If the process is hurried. it diminishes their chances of success and they just go back into the life that they were living. We want to see them healed from their past and be able to move forward to embrace the possibilities ahead.
AOFM, Inc. often helps with immigration, DACA, getting a green card or citizenship, Social Security, disability, divorce, marriage, having babies, court issues, medical, dental or whatever other needs they may have. We not only help the ladies get their GED, but we also help them get into College or pursue a career that they are interested in.
AOFM, Inc. is NOT a drug rehab center, but we do take ladies in after they have graduated from a drug rehab program or when they are being released from jail. We do random drug tests and try to stay on top of that problem. We are NOT a nursing home, nor a mental health facility, but sometimes we are faced with clients that need one of these facilities, so we work at placing them where their needs can be met.
Unfortunately, we have to turn away 10-15 women a week because of limited space and also the problems with our apartment complex presently. (See Hannah's House Complex on next page.) This is very hard for us to do when we hear the horror stories of what they're going through. We could definitely use another house or two!
We would love to have a home for children, as we deal with many parents that have had children removed from their household. If the children were within close proximity, the women could be developing positive child/parent relationships while they are working on themselves. The children are counseled as well as the parents, so that we may see positive outcomes for the family.
Our Counseling Center is available to the entire com-munity and offers Spanish classes as well. We counsel the fathers, the men of the community who have struggled with their own abuse and thus abused others. Many are court ordered or they just come on their own. We have clients sent to us through DCF, One Hope United, Churches and other organizations. This is a service we normally charge for unless we know the person or family is unable to pay.