The Homes of Hope for Children Story
The origins of Homes of Hope for Children date back more than 30 years to 1987, when my two sisters and I were sent to live at a Christian children’s home. Our family experiences until that point had been grim: I had moved from an abusive home with an alcoholic father to an even more abusive foster home separated from my sisters.
It’s not surprising that I was wary about entering another new and unfamiliar situation. My first days at the children’s home were spent fighting back tears and worrying about what the future would hold. However, I soon began to flourish. Ultimately, the seven years I spent there offered me something I’d never had before: the chance to escape the destructive cycle of abuse and poverty unnecessarily endured by so many children. For the first time in my life, I could just be a kid.
God began teaching me vital aspects of the ministry during my time at the Christian children’s home. His guidance helped me to realize, create and develop the Homes of Hope for Children vision — even as that very ministry was in the act of meeting my own needs. Shortly after graduating from high school, I surrendered to full-time ministry with a clear path: I would dedicate the rest of my life to making sure other children received the same life-changing opportunities I was given.
Over a decade ago, my wife, Julie, and I moved to Hattiesburg with our then-infant son, Caleb. God had placed the vision of Homes of Hope for Children in my heart, and we were committed to bringing it to life by helping boys and girls find a nurturing place to call “home.”
It was not an easy time. In fact, it often felt like the only way to move forward was to fall forward. When I look back at those early, challenging days, I not only see how close we came to failing, but also how God rescued us from the brink every time.
We welcomed the first children to our ministry after completing construction of the first home on our campus in 2010. A year later, we were blessed with a second home for our growing ministry. Today, I’m proud to say that 28 boys and girls are flourishing under our care. None of this would be possible without the prayers, support, and contributions of the many individuals, local businesses, and area churches who have helped us — and continue to help us — every step of the way.
If you’re unfamiliar with Homes of Hope for Children’s ongoing efforts on behalf of abused and neglected children, I encourage you to peruse our website to learn more about our campus, programs, events and so much more. When you’re done exploring, I hope you will consider one simple request: partner with us by becoming a monthly donor today. Please let these children know how much you care by making their home your ministry!
Dr. Michael Garrett
Executive Director: Homes of Hope for Children