Our Story

As told by Sara Trollinger, Founder

For 15 years (of my 25 years teaching) I taught emotionally handicapped teenagers in the Orange County school system and at a state juvenile detention center.   The situation seemed hopeless for teenagers.  They would come and go with no solutions to their problems, and repeat their negative behavior.  There seemed to be no lasting help for these desperate young people.  I, among others, was not allowed to teach life-changing principles based on God’s word.
During one of my early-morning prayer times, I cried out to God and asked Him what could be done.  In His still small voice, He spoke to me and said:  “Sara, I want you to start a place and call it House of Hope.”   This would be our opportunity to teach Christian principles to teenagers, help heal their hurts and, through the power of Jesus Christ, help change the lives of young people and their parents permanently!
We had no money… no house…no facility, but I had a vision and knew God was directing (Psalm 32:8).  One day as I was praying, seeking God about a location, the name of a lady came strongly to my mind, and I felt impressed to call her.  I called and asked her if she might know of a location for a home we could use for teenagers.  She referred me to a couple who was getting ready to sell their property.  After seeing the site and talking with the lady, we immediately knew this was to be the future site of House of Hope.  She and her husband were asking $117,000, which seemed like a million dollars to us since we had no money!  But I had a dream!  We shared the vision with the couple and their hearts were touched.  They agreed to pray about it.  In the meantime, we wrote a grant to the Edyth Bush Foundation.  We had no experience with grant writing but several of us, once again, asked God for guidance.  After much prayer, we submitted the grant request for $95,000 in matching funds.  At this point, we had no idea why God told us to ask for $95,000. 
After submitting the grant request, a few days later, the property owners called us (not knowing about the amount of the grant request) and said, “We’ve decided to let you have the property for $95,000!  Now we knew…and rejoiced…believing we would get the grant.  By faith, I said, “Fine, we’ll take it.”  They prepared for the closing…still no money!  Two weeks before the closing date, I received a letter from the Edyth Bush Foundation, saying, “We are happy to announce that you will receive your request of $95,000!”  God is so good; He is never late!
After being a guest on a local TV program, Charley Reese, a nationally syndicated columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, hears about House of Hope.  Hearing about the ministry and being impressed with the fact that we take no government funds, Charley asked if he may write an article about House of Hope.  The article was scheduled to appear in the Sentinel on May 29, 1985, the same day that President Regan would visit Epcot Center for only three hours for its dedication.  We prayed that somehow, in spite of his busy schedule, the President would read the article.  Once again, God answered our prayer.  The President read it and wrote a letter of congratulations, encouraging the community to get involved in free enterprise.  He included a $1,000 check from his personal account!  Another God-incident!
The community began to become aware of what we were doing and of the great need for this unique home.  Carpenters donated material and labor; plumbers, electricians, painters, repairmen, etc. rallied to God’s calling.  One house on the property had a huge hole in the roof.  Early one morning, as I arrived at HOH, five men were on top of the house, building a new roof!  These men were unknown to us…but known to God!
Our doors to House of Hope in Orlando – now the National House of Hope Affiliate model –   opened August 22, 1985.  Just exactly what we needed:  beds; furniture; appliances; dishes; linens; pots and pans; clothing, etc. came from individuals, organizations, and churches.