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It began in 1986 with a dream...
Bruce and Jan Willson of Mechanic Falls, Maine saw the need to provide care to mothers in Maine. For 8 years they ran Maine's only family foster home specifically licensed for pregnant and parenting teens and young adults. They called their dream "Hope House".
The dream grew...
6 other Hope Houses opened around Maine.  In 1994 an outreach center drawing 600 clients a year was opened in Lewiston, in buildings loaned by Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
In 1998 St. Mary's Regional Medical Center bought those buildings and donated them to Hope House, so that services to Lewiston could continue.

               and grew...
Also in 1998 an apartment building (1/2 mile from the center on College Street) was donated by the St. Laurent brothers.  This enabled Lizzy's Lodge, a residential program for single mothers, to operate for 6 years in Lewiston.  Area businesses, churches and individuals provide the financial and volunteer support that enables Hope House to offer it's various care services to families.
Thanks to a community of support!
 In 2006, as Hope House celebrated 20 years of fruitfulness, the vision to spread hope wider grew.  Hope for the Nations, the mission branch of Hope House, sends teams and shares resources to encourage families globally.
HomeFamily Support CenterHope for the NationsSchedulePresentationsMaterials
Contact InfoAboutHow To HelpL.A. CafeHope for the HolidaysBaby Olympics
Women's HealthAbortion Information

Hope House Milestones
1986     Bruce & Jan Willson opened Maine's first licensed family foster home for pregnant and    
             parenting teen mothers

1989     Six more Hope House homes for young mothers opened throughout Maine

1990     Bruce was asked to serve on the Maine Foster Parent Association's board

1992     Hope House featured on front page of Portland Press Herald, as Bruce and Jan
             expressed concerns about inadequate services for young mothers in Maine which
             resulted in a baby's death from abuse

1992     Hope House featured at York County Abuse and Neglect Council

1994     Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood spoke to media and DHHS, supporting
             Hope House's work of advocating for women and children in Maine

1994     An outreach center for mothers opened in downtown Lewiston, in buildings loaned to
             Hope House by Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and immediately drew large
             numbers of area moms eager for encouragement and help

1994     Hope House featured on WCSH6 (NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine),  directors Bruce & 
             Jan Willson awarded "People of the Week"

1994     Hope House published trauma recovery tools, written by the Willson's

1995-96  Hope House director Bruce Willson served on the board of Androscoggin County 
               Head Start     

1995-2010   Hope House director Bruce Willson served on the board of the Good Shepherd 
                    Food Bank
1998    Hope House given College St. buildings for outreach center, by St. Mary's Regional  
            Medical Center. Also given shelter building, by St. Laurent Bros.

2000    Hope House featured in May 2000 newsletter of Midwives' Alliance of North America

2003    Hope House presented "Doula Inservice Training" to OB nurses of Franklin Memorial   
            Hospital, and to Lewiston/Auburn College student nurses

2006    Hope House celebrates 20-year anniversary, with dinner hosted by St. Mary's Regional 
            Medical Center

2006   Hope House invited to hold trainings in Seoul, resulting in South  Korea's 
           "Hope House Happy Mom & Baby Center"

2007    Hope House and the Willson's awarded "d'Youville Community Award" by  Sisters of 
            Charity Health Systems 

2008    Hope House toured Northeast China

2009    Rowe of Auburn, Emerson Toyota, and Lee Auto donated Christmas gift of a van to 
            Hope House 

2009    Rebuilding Together L/A chose Hope House buildings to receive community 
            assistance from: Bates College, St. Mary's Regional MedicalCenter, Precision Builders,                     Mason Bros. Construction, Greenwood Electric,and the Lewiston High School La Crosse 

​2010   Teamed with Catholic Charities Refugee & Immigration Services, co-sponsored parenting
​            classes at the Lewiston center

2011   Hope House and the Willson's invited to be Ambassadors for TRAC5, an organization  ​
​           bringing together Muslims, Christians, and Jews to dialogue together in peace

2011   Mother's Spa Day featured in Lewiston's Sun Journal, highlighting ethnic food and
           henna artistry at the Lewiston center's celebration of motherhood

2011   Multicultural Thanksgiving celebration featured in Lewiston's Sun Journal with follow-up
           editorials responding to some negative racial reactions     

2012   Hope House received a Community Award from the Lewiston, Maine Rotary Club  

2012   Hope House hosted teams from YouthWorks 

2012   Participated in Lewiston's first Welcoming Maine dinner, where the mayor and other
​              community leaders welcomed new international residents

2012   Teamed with Ali Aden to host Gateway Tutors awards party honoring area children
           achieving academic goals

2012   Teamed with the Somali American Society to sponsor "Somali Culture Night" at the
​               Lewiston center

Hope House directors Bruce & Jan Willson...and their family, loving and serving God in Maine, Oregon, Seoul, South Korea
and Budapest, Hungary!
See the full interview