In 1988, Lorraine and John Gillespie started a jail ministry in Hardee County and surrounding cities. Their ministry was called Alpha and Omega Freedom Ministries, Inc. They helped men both inside prison and those being released into the community. While ministering to the men in prison, many men were concerned about their families left at home. So the Gillespies started working with the women and children who were left behind.
Through their work with the families, they found that many had been abused and also some were homeless. Being a victim of abuse from her first marriage for 22 years, Lorraine had a desire to help these women and children. She remembered when she was in an abusive situation and had no form of support in the community. She had to keep going back to her abuser.
In 2007, the Gillespie's opened Hannah's House Shelter to help Domestic Violence victims become strong, independent women by focusing on their recovery to physical, emotional, well-being. Women focused on parenting, educational and vocational needs. Through Gillespie's Counseling Center, John and Lorraine have helped many people, not only in the shelter, but in their community to gain the knowledge to help them let go of past hurts, forgive those who have hurt them, helped to get them out of substance abuse and helped with their immediate and future needs. Their goal is to help women obtain the education they need to be successful on their own no matter what they choose to do with their lives in the future.
Our Focus is on Domestic Violence survivor's relief, education, prevention, and empowerment of those we serve.
Our Vision is to advance personal recovery and resiliency, and to promote emotionally strong and economically sound, self-reliant individuals and families.
We Value the Lives of Women and Children who
have the Right to Live Free of Fear, Intimidation,
Threats, Violence and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.
Our Strategies that Guide our Response are: Protection, Prevention, Assessment, Support, Education, Inspiration and Empowerment.
The Core Principles that support our Strategies are: Respect, Equality and Diversity, Integrity, Compassion, Community Responsibility, Accountability, Fidelity, and Longevity.