In 1992, a group of ordinary people did an extraordinary thing! This group of concerned citizens including the late Dottie Berger MacKinnon, the late Bob Thomas, the late Olin Mott; and the surviving Jim Zimmerman, Laurence Hall, Greg Johnson, and Alberto de Alejos, came together to turn their dream of a safe haven for abused, abandoned, and neglected children into a reality. Their vision became Joshua House, which has since provided a safe haven for more than 1,650 children from across the Tampa Bay region.
It seems like such a short time ago that we gathered our friends and supporters and began to design a safe haven for our communities’ most vulnerable citizens. Out of much work and dedication, we now have Joshua House and a two-decade history of providing a therapeutic shelter for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. Joshua House has seen many changes over the years, but the core values and philosophies have remained constant: to heal the wounds of abuse and to provide a nurturing and welcoming environment where each child is made to feel special.
Nestled in the suburbs of Lutz, Joshua House has been home to over 1,200 children since we opened our doors in 1992. After developing this beautiful 11-acre site with five homes, administration offices, and a therapy center, we gifted Joshua House to the Children’s Home Society of Florida. We later founded the Friends of Joshua House Foundation, Inc. in order to provide direct and indirect support for the children served through Joshua House. The funds we raise can be dedicated to not only meet the needs of our children by providing clothes, shoes, OTC medicine, school supplies, tutors, PC’s, toys, books, and games; but exceeds the expectations with tuitions, extra-curricular activities in the arts, sports, and sciences, and repairs and improvements on the property as time takes its toll.
Throughout our time in service, we have been committed to our initial intent. As the community’s needs change so will Joshua House, so that exemplary service is always delivered to meet today’s needs, and most importantly the needs of our children. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for each and every child, Joshua House truly does provide the safe haven that we initially intended; for this, we are immensely proud. We are also proud of the community support we have received. Without the support of our friends, families, and this community, Joshua House could very easily become just a memory. Thank you for being part of the “friends” of Joshua House, and making a difference in so many lives.