A Brief History of
House of Hope Ministries
Established in January, 2012, House of Hope is an outreach of Springfield’s Northside Assembly of God, a church pastored by Rev. Alvin G. Blackard, Jr.
Back in 2012, church members Tino and Tami Rossellini shared their Spirit-filled vision with Pastor Alvin. They wanted to help women come out of addiction and stay clean and out of incarceration. The Rossellinis had past experiences in this area of ministry and they saw the need for it here in our community.
Pastor Alvin told them about a house located on property owned by the Northside Assembly. With its roof leaking and beginning to cave in, the house was in fact slated for demolition—so it seemed as if the Rosselinis had arrived “in the nick of time.” If they were going to rebuild women’s broken lives, they would have to rebuild the old house first.
But the house needed work a new roof and more. The Rossellinis’ request posed a challenge to the church, so Pastor Alvin took their request before the Board of Deacons. A transitional home for women was well in line with the core values of the church, Pastor Alvin noted. But there was the price tag to consider…
A lively conversation ensued. One of the deacons reminded Pastor Alvin of the time when he received a phone call from the Springfield Police Department. It turns out that there was a young man sleeping on the roof of the educational wing of the church. Pastor Alvin went up on the roof of the church himself to talk to the young man.
“Do you remember what you told us, Pastor Alvin?” the deacon asked: “You said, ‘the young man was sleeping on our flat roof because he had been kicked out of his home and he was looking for a place where he could find rest. On that roof, no one would see him to bother him: not the police, not anyone—not even a dog.”
It’s curious that a roof under this homeless young man’s head fueled the discussion of reroofing an old house to put a roof over the heads of women fresh out of incarceration and needing shelter.
So the Northside Assembly Board of Deacons challenged the Rossellinis, who were told: “If you can get a new roof put on that old house without cost to the church, then we’ll know that your plan is from God.” And the Rossellinis did just that. Cox Roofing and ABC supplies provided a $14,000 dollar roof and labor at no cost, other than food for the workers.
God had provided and House of Hope—the Ministries’ first transitional home for women—officially opened in June, 2012. Needing someone with experience in faith-based women’s recovery programs, the HoH Board asked Ann Tompkins to assume the role of live-in House Director.
God was not finished with the Rossellinis, who followed His calling into further areas of ministry; but they were leaving House of Hope well established in its foundations and enthusiastically supported by Northside Assembly. With the Rossellinis’ departure, the HoH Board asked Ann Tompkins to assume the duties of Executive Director of House of Hope Ministries of Springfield.