ITHACA – Although Amy Raynes’ dream hasn’t fully been realized, help is on the way for the Miami Valley’s troubled teenage girls. House of Hope Dayton has made tremendous headway in the past year and this year’s second annual Hope in the Darke fundraising event held April 16 will go a long way in helping reach the goal of opening the facility this fall. Located in Ithaca, House of Hope Dayton is a faith-based residential counseling service for teenage girls. From sexual abuse to anger issues, these girls will learn how to overcome the trials and tribulations life has sent their way to become successful and productive adults.
House of Hope Dayton may only be a few years in the making, but it is backed by over 32 years of prayer and success. It all started, according to House of Hope founder Sara Trollinger, with a “still small voice.” Trollinger came to Darke County to speak to supporters and share the success House of Hope has had since opening in 1985.
To say House of Hope is a faith-based organization does little to adequately describe how hundreds of teenage girls and boys have been helped by this organization. Trollinger taught school in Orange County, Fla. for 25 years as well as teaching at a juvenile detention center. “I would see how teenagers would come and go without any lasting help,” she said. Unfortunately, she couldn’t minister to the students or the parents because it was a secular school. After seeing the same kids come and go Trollinger admits she was distressed and cried out to the Lord, “What are we going to do about these hurting teenagers?” The answer came in that still small voice and it was to start House of Hope.
Faith has played a huge part in House of Hope’s history. From stepping out in faith to purchase the original two homes with only $200 in the bank to standing on Luke 10:19 and commanding fleas that had infested the house to leave, Trollinger admits they couldn’t have come this far without the Lord’s favor. She reeled off one miracle after another House of Hope has been blessed to see.
Today, House of Hope continues to see one success story after another. They’ve witnessed trouble teens that have become teachers and business owners and now have families of their own. Trollinger said a week or two doesn’t pass by without one of their former residents stopping by. “The teens we’re helping today will change the nation,” she said. Not only are the teens changed by House of Hope, so are the parents. Trollinger and her counselors require parents to attend parenting classes while their teen is a resident.
“Most people in most communities don’t know the seriousness of the problem. If they do know the seriousness, they don’t know the solution,” she said. Her message to Darke County is to get involved with Amy and her team to be part of the solution.
Funding will be extremely important to get House of Hope Dayton up and running. Trollinger said, “We’re praying for $300,000 to be able to get the place staffed, get it open and get all of the repairs done. And we believe God’s going to provide that.”
She admits when she heard God’s voice 32 years ago she didn’t know it would be like it is today with 17 locations across the country. She recalled when President Regan visited House of Hope he said, “There needs to be a House of Hope within driving distance of every major city.”
As Trollinger walked around the House of Hope Dayton campus she admitted the tears started to flow as she realized the support local teenage girls were going to receive.
PHOTO CAPTION: Shown at House of Hope Dayton are Rachel Gordon, event coordinator; Amy Raynes, House of Hope Dayton founder; Sara Trollinger, House of Hope founder; and Karla Mathis, executive director of House of Hope Orlando.