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Who We Are
Mom and a Child

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 staff

Meet Our Team
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Denise Gattuso

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.

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Alyisa Bartruff

Case Manager

Prodigal Daughters and

The Hagar Project

 

Alyisa is 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

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Karlee Hudson

​Director of Outreach, Media and Fundraising

     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.

​ 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. 

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Melinda Drake

President

Worship Director

Touchpoint Community Church

Board Member

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.

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Anthony Drake

Touchpoint Community Church

Senior Pastor

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.

Board Members

meet Our board of directors & Advisory board members

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J. R Weaver
 
Chairman of the Board

 MaryAnn Weaver
Board Secretary 

Pastor J.R. Weaver and his wife, MaryAnn have a passion to be involved in local  ministry here in Sarasota where God has called them to live. They have also been  very involved in international ministry, but feel strongly the need to reach out in their  own neighborhood and city. 

Pastor J.R. has served as lead pastor at the Palm Grove Mennonite Church for 21  years. His gift of mercy is very evident as he cares and interacts with people. He  has lead numerous mission teams to countries across the world. MaryAnn has  served many years as a Ladies Bible Study teacher, event planner, and been  involved in children ministry. Her heart is passionate for ladies to be discipled in  God’s Word and to grow from broken to beautiful. 

 God has blessed them with four beautiful children, in-laws, and 8 amazing  grandchildren.

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Cindy Denison

 Board Member 

 

I startedy banking career right after graduating high school.  I spent the next 38 years working my way through all the branch positions. I managed a branch and was responsible for a total of 10 branches. I was responsible for budgeting, overseeing facility maintenance, staff development, hiring and firing,  customer satisfaction, I was also a consumer lender. I became the trainer and mentor for all branch managers. I retired as Group Vice president onJune 30, 2021.

Prodigal Daughters journey program saved the life of my niece. This faith based program does something that most agencies cannot accomplish.  They are saving and changing the lives of these women and their children. This program, through Christ, has blessed our family and I will be forever grateful! 

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Dr. Jonathan Mullis
Board Co- Chair

Dr. Jonathan Mullis is the Owner and CEO of Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida LLC. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Simmons College, both in Boston. Before starting Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, Dr. Mullis founded Mullis and Associates Physical Therapy, Inc., a multiple location Physical Therapy business in the Boston area, which he sold in 2017. Since moving to Florida, Dr. Mullis has become very involved in the local community. He is a class of 2018-19 graduate of Leadership Manatee. In addition to Prodigal Daughters, he is currently on the board of directors for the Bradenton Kiwanis (VP), Junior Leadership Manatee (Past President), Leadership Manatee Board of Governors and Manatee Tiger Bay, as well as serving on the Healthcare and Legislative Committees for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters

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Dr. Catherine Kieft, Psy.D

Board Member

 

Catherine Kieft, Psy.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Director of Chicago NorthShore Psychologists. Dr. Kieft has worked in the mental health field helping children, adolescents, and families since 1993. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Biola University, a M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University and a Psy.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology-Chicago with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Psychology.


Over the course of her career, Dr. Kieft has provided mental health services in outpatient, inpatient, school, in-home, and residential settings. She served as the lead Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for a Head Start program for 4 years. Dr. Kieft provides
psychotherapy, assessments, evidence-based therapy, parent training, and consultation to children, adolescents, and their families. Catherine and her family relocated from Chicago to Bradenton, FL in 2021. Her commitment to helping children, adolescents and families is what drew her to Prodigal Daughter’s Journey Home where she serves on the advisory board providing consultation in Child Psychology.. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Director of Chicago NorthShore Psychologists. Dr. Kieft has worked in the mental health field helping children, adolescents, and families since 1993. She received a B.A. in Psychology from Biola University, a M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University and a Psy.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology-Chicago with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Psychology. Over the course of her career,

 

Dr. Kieft has provided mental health services in outpatient, inpatient, school, in-home, and residential settings. She served as the lead Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant for a Head Start program for 4 years. Dr. Kieft provides psychotherapy, assessments, evidence-based therapy, parent training, and consultation to children, adolescents, and their families. Catherine and her family relocated from Chicago to Bradenton, FL in 2021.

 

Her commitment to helping children, adolescents and families is what drew her to Prodigal Daughter’s Journey Home where she serves on the advisory board providing consultation in Child Psychology.

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Dwayne A Denison
Treasurer 

I began my career in law enforcement in 1983. I retired as the Colonel of the Manatee County Sheriffs Office in Sept 2023. I was responsible for 1,300 employees and worked on budgeting, contract negotiations, staff management and development as well as many other duties. 

Prodigal Daughters stepped up to help our family member that had an addiction to drugs, was arrested and eventually lost custody of her daughter. This program helped restore her body, mind and soul. They assisted her in all areas of her life and was eventually able to regain custody of her daughter and become a productive citizen and future leader. I  am a firm believer in this agency and all the great things that they are doing to change lives of Women and their children in Manatee and Sarasota County for the better.

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Joseph Gattuso

Founder

Retired N.Y Law Enforcement

 

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 far of the Lord, hosting great grace, patience, and wonders of love for all those entrusted to their multifaceted ministries.

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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.

What Sets Us Apart
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REFERRALS

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.

PROGRAM INCLUDES

Discipleship

Biblical Study

Group Curriculum

Christian Family Counseling

Nutrition Classes

Self Defense Classes

Cooking, Cleaning & Other Skills

Recreation

Support Groups

Educational Classes

Prayer & Devotion

Daily Living Skills

Parenting Classes

Mentorship

Career Counseling

Mother/Infant Track

Housing Opportunities

And More!

Referrals & Program Details
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Admission Requirements

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.

Admission Requirements
  • 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.

Admission Requirements
Application
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