Freewill offers a comprehensive rehabilitation program mixed with Christian values and teachings. The Freewill Program is more successful than most other programs returning a high percentage of clients to the community with the ability to function in the community.
Currently Freewill provides residential programs for men in the Men’s House of Hope and women in the Women’s House of Hope. An Aftercare program and a Half-way Home program is also provided for graduates needing a bridge back into the community. The Women’s facility is located on campus and the Men’s facility and Half-way House are located in Humboldt in rented facilities.
Freewill also operates Daddy’s Kitchen, which provides low cost meals to the community as well as meals for the clients in the programs. The Freewill Thrift Shop sells low cost clothing to the community and provides needed clothing to the clients in the rehabilitation and transition programs. The Aftercare House of Hope is located in a rented house in Humboldt and houses female graduates of the program who are developing better work skills to enter the labor force. Also, Freewill operates a bus for transporting residents to doctor’s appointments, court, and parole officer visits and to and from meals.
Almost 20 years ago Essie Barnes started ministering to jail inmates by assisting them in finding jobs and a place to live after their release from jail. Many of these people had no place to go and were unprepared to return to society and live a productive life. Originally she did this primarily with her own money. This effort has continued and has grown over the years.
In 2004 Freewill was chartered as a not-profit corporation in the State of Tennessee and was granted 501(c)3 tax exempt status by the IRS in 2005. In 2007 the current campus in Humboldt, TN was purchased with funding of the Episcopal Church Diocese of West Tennessee. This campus enabled Freewill to expand its mission in West Tennessee. In 2010 a flood damaged the campus and was a serious blow to the missions. Over the past 4 years the House of Hope for Women has been rehabilitated and returned to use, Daddy’s Kitchen has been rehabilitated and returned to use, and rehabilitation on the Plaza Building has begun.
Today Freewill provides residence and counseling for both men and women in its facilities located in Humboldt, TN. The work is funded by contributions from churches, individuals, and some corporate support. Freewill does not receive any state or federal aid and depends on benevolence to sustain its programs. Freewill also relies on the hard work of volunteers.