who we are
Prodigal Daughters Journey Home is a Christ centered rehabilitation ministry for women who have suffered from the bondage of alcohol and drug addiction. The purpose of this home is to rebuild the foundation of these women's lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. The focus of our treatment is to allow God to renew their minds and restore their lives so they will know His plan for them which is good, pleasing and perfect. The heart of this ministry is to create an atmosphere where women can receive healing, break free from bondage, mend broken relationships, and fulfill the calling God has on their lives.
meet Our team
LMHC, MA, CAC
Founder & Executive Director
G.R.I.P. (God Raising Incredible Parents) Facilitator
Prodigal Daughters Journey Home was a vision given to Denise Gattuso over twenty years ago by the Lord. Working in the field of addiction, Denise has seen the difficulties women face and knew that she needed to make a difference. In 2015, she left everything in New York to pursue His calling here in Florida.
Denise is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) with over 35 years' experience. She is a mother, grandmother, pastoral administrator, and governmental apostolic leader who stewards everything bathed in prayer.
Retired NY Law Enforcement Officer
Joe is a father, grandfather, pastor, retired NY Law Enforcement officer, business owner, and an avid bible teacher. His study style and demonstration of love is displayed openly is his ever present example of fathering, life coaching, and shepherding while shaping identity with purpose.
Joe & Denise Gattuso have been married for 39 years and their heart's call is the priority of love, family and the Kingdom of God. Together, Joe and Denise walk in the fear of the Lord, hosting great grace, patience, and wonders of love for all those entrusted to their multifaceted ministries.
Touchpoint Community Church
Melinda Drake is the President of Prodigal Daughters in addition to the worship Director for Touchpoint Community Church Sarasota FL. Melinda attended Southeastern University and Graduated Suny Empire state College with a Degree in the human service field before working as a case manager with Safe Children Coalition. Her Background in the foster care system as well as her experiences with the child protective services have prepared her for the intricate role she plays at Prodigal Daughters. It has become Melinda's passion to see children reunited with mothers and see families restored and redeemed. Family is extremely important to Melinda as she is quick to invite others to be a part of her already large family. As a mother of 4 as well as a Nashville recording singer/songwriter, her plate is always full but she somehow makes room for new members.
Melinda has been a part of Prodigal from the very early dream stages and has helped build the foundational structure of this ministry today. She has a deep passion for women and children and believes in the power of Jesus and the redemption offered through the process provided at Prodigal Daughters Journey home.
Touchpoint Community Church
In addition to serving as the pastor at Prodigal Daughters, Anthony Drake is also the senior pastor of Touchpoint Community Church in Sarasota FL. A graduate of Southeastern University, class of 2015, Anthony received a master’s degree in Ministerial Leadership.
In addition to his experience as the lead pastor of Touchpoint Church, he has also been a case manager with Lutheran Services FL and a youth pastor for over 4 years. Anthony is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and maintains a good standing with the district. Anthony has a heart for all ministry but especially Prodigal Daughters.
Anthony and his wife Melinda not only invest their time and finances into Prodigal Daughters but also strongly believe that the healing process that takes place in this home is changing Manatee and Sarasota Counties for the better.
Alyisa Bartruff is the residential case manager and client advocate. She is also a graduate of Prodigal Daughters as of 2020. Upon graduation, she took on the full-time position to continue her journey and to give back to the ministry that has catapulted her to where she is today.
Alyisa takes pride in being a part of an organization that offers women and their children the support they need. She deeply appreciates what it has afforded her. She expresses her gratitude by working with the women to help them see the possibilities she once had a hard time seeing herself. Alyisa has seen for herself the power of God as she herself has gone through the program.
She is taking full-time online courses at Liberty University where she has earned her Associates’s in the behavioral sciences with a major in Christian Counseling. She has decided to take her education all the way to a master’s level and from there plans to obtain her license in mental health counseling.
Being a part of Prodigal Daughters has been the best decision she has ever made. It is from this decision that everything else has come into place. Her children, once estranged from her, are now reconciled to her and they are building a life together. What brings Alyisa the most joy is watching her kids live a good life, a life they deserve.
Alyisa doesn’t look at her work as a job, but rather as her calling and purpose from the Lord. She pours into these women and children and loves them as she would her own family. It is because of people like Joe and Denise that Alyisa found the hope she has in Jesus, and she wants to lead others to the same hope.
Director of Outreach, Fundraising and Media
Karlee is our director of outreach. She also organizes our fundraising events and media pages.
Karlee was born in raised in Bradenton, Florida and loves collaborating with our community partners to help reach women who were once in her position. She is committed to advocating for these mothers by partnering with the 12th Judicial Court, the Sheriff's office of Manatee County, and the Safe Children Coalition. Currently, she is studying at Southeastern University for her Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Psychology and Human Services.
Karlee is a graduate of Prodigal Daughters Journey Home and completed 24 months in the program. She is a National Board-Certified Expanded Function Dental Assistant and previously worked in the Dental field for 17 years. Upon graduation, God showed her a fresh passion. Karlee's passion is to help women who come into prodigal daughters to get their children back. As well as to learn to be the amazing mothers God created them to be. She is passionate about women's ministry and teaching the ladies of Prodigal Daughters the Word of God and how to overcome adversity. The verse God gave her for her ministry is "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall Crush your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:15 NKJV).
Karlee has worked through her own case plan at Prodigal Daughters successfully and knows the struggles these women face firsthand. The word of God has completely transformed Karlee from the life she once lived. Karlee believes that God walked her through her struggles in life so she can lead others out of that darkness and into His glorious light.
Karlee and her daughter Kaylea both enjoy spending time together and reading the Bible. Kaylea loves Jesus and is a prayer warrior. She attends a private Christian school and loves to sing. As a result, Karlee's ministry bears fruit, and she strives to help others succeed in their walk with God and restore their families.
What sets our program apart?
We welcome women and their children, up to 12 years old. We are one of the few programs that welcome mothers with multiple children.
The purpose of Prodigal Daughters Journey Home is to rebuild the foundation of women's lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The focus of our treatment is to allow God to renew minds and restore lives so the women in our program will know His plan for them which is good, pleasing and perfect. The heart of this ministry is to create an atmosphere where women can receive healing, break free from bondage, mend broken relationships, and fulfill the calling God has on their lives.
Referrals come from pastors, families, the courts, probation departments, and other community agencies. Our program is often used by the legal system as an excellent alternative to a jail or prison sentence.
Christian Family Counseling
Self Defense Classes
Cooking, Cleaning & Other Skills
Prayer & Devotion
Daily Living Skills
For our program to be successful for women who are in need of recovery, there are certain requirements for admission into the Prodigal Daughters program. If you or someone you know is in need of this program, please download the application and resident manual.
Must profess a desperate need to change
Must express a desire to forever forsake her addictive lifestyle.
Must be willing to seek Jesus Christ as her only hope of a changed life.
Must agree to follow the program guidelines, requirements and disciplines.
Must comply with all legal requirements, such as court orders and/or probation.
Must sign a contract with Prodigal Daughters.
Must not be in active withdrawal.