Allow us to tell you about our story

The vision for Created Tampa was birthed in Manila, Philippines as we served in a ministry called Samaritana. Our 9-month experience in Manila inspired us to start created. We realized at the time that our city had no Christian organization or ministry dedicated to reaching these women and we had a heavy burden to initiate and contextualize what we learned and experienced first hands in the Philippines.

We discovered the extent of sexual exploitation evident in our city, Tampa, FL. Our current approach is to befriend women, invite them into trusting relationships and empower them to leave prostitution or the dangerous lifestyle in which they live.

By providing personal relationship, regular places for the women to gather and interact with God's word, we hope to see God break the power of oppression, isolation, and helplessness that currently grip many of their lives. We also know that part of seeing women become free from exploitation will only come as we walk alongside them, advocate for them, and empower them to speak up for themselves.

As women are empowered through relationship with Jesus and grow to understand their true identity as image bearers of God we fully believe it will be the starting point for them to begin to use their gifts and skills in healthier, non-exploitive environments.

 
 
 
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Jillian Penhale

Director

 
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LaAysha Neal

Finance Coordinator 

 
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Jillayah Hodges

Created Care Coordinator

 
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Ashley Graham

Case Management Specialist

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Joanna Diebel Ross

Outreach Coordinator

 
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Tammy Bertron

Care Manager


Discipleship

We believe every woman should have the opportunity for a new life in relationship with Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we proclaim the good news of His kingdom and invite vulnerable women to become followers of Jesus.  We do this in a context of friendship, mentoring and communal encounters Gods Word.


Advocacy

We believe Gods image affords every woman the right to speak and be heard.  Therefore, we both advocate for and empower women to express themselves.  We do this through advocacy, offering life skills and partnership with other organizations in order to be a voice for change in the lives of sexually and relationally broken women and the systems that keep them bound to sexual exploitation.


Community

Authentic relationships provide the context for nurturing spiritual growth.  We hope to provide safe places of meaningful community for vulnerable women where they can journey together toward healing, wholeness, and new life in Jesus. 


Residential Program

We provide a year long, free (donor based) safe housing for women who have been sex trafficked or have had any involvement with the sex industry. We provide community, accountability,NA meetings, Christian therapy, Bible study, Life skills, mentors, and much more


Apartments

We provide apartments for Created alumni to move into after they've completed the program.


Jobs

We provide cleaning jobs and work at our Created Boutique thrift store. Come shop for a cause  at our thrift store at 3102 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL. Our store hours may vary, so please call ahead at 813-228-9412.


Outreach

We go into the strip clubs, on the streets, and in the jails with the goal of befriending vulnerable women and sharing God's love for them. The goal of outreach is to love women we're they're at. 85-95% of women in the strip clubs have grown up in church and are very familiar with religion and Christianity. Their fathers are pastors, or grew up in the church choir, have been on mission trips etc. Instead of being another Christian protestor, our approach is unconditional love. We go into the dark places with gifts for the women, in hopes that we can redeem their past, broken experiences with The Church. It is common for us to here women say,"Wow, I can not believe a church lady is inside of this club talking to me. I can't believe you all care about us enough to come each month with gifts. Why are you so loving? Why do you do this?" This is music to our ears. When their walls of hostility and confusion break down, we get to share God's perfect love for them and pray with them. Our approach is simple, it is consistent love.

Stories from the Women

Created exists to serve the most exploited women of our city. The following are a few testimonies of some of the beautiful women who have been through our program. We believe that every life matters and her voice deserves to be heard.


I just love my life today, see my thoughts tell me that, while my disease tells me that no one likes me and that I’m too good to be around here, but I know in my heart that I am loved. I don’t want to have to wake up any more wondering where I’m going to get my next high or the next guy to sleep with and manipulate to get what I want. I don t have to live like that anymore. Now that I’m clean it feels like freedom. I’m not ashamed of who I was out there in my addiction, ‘cause that was not Chantel. Chantel is a loving, caring person that does for others and shows respect.
— Chantel
For a long time I thought my life didn’t mean much. I would use drugs, go to jail, then get out and do the same thing all over again. I did that for many years. It was a revolving door for me. I would go to jail long enough to get some rest and food in my stomach then back to a life of spiritual brokenness and uncertainty. God, is this the life I’m supposed to live? I’m tired; I don’t want this life anymore. Those were the words that changed my life. After that night I got arrested and stayed in jail for a couple of months. Through all the difficulties God held my hand and told me it was going to be ok.
I graduated from a 6 month residential treatment program in June 2009, then moved into the Created house and lived there for 11 months, and that experience was great. I learned how to follow Jesus and how to serve others. I felt comfortable because I related to others that have been down the same road I was on. I was still on probation at the time and I was constantly wondering if I would ever get off. An amazing thing happened in May of 2010, my judge finally told me that I was doing a great job and that she was proud of me and finally freed me from probation. I was very happy because I never thought that I could do it. I was supposed to be on probation for three years but finished in 18 months. God is so good, I know that if I could overcome the obstacles in life so can many other women.
— Antionette
I’ve been in and out of jail and prison for about 30 years. I came from a Christian family. I started doing drugs at the age of 13. Each time that I went to prison I made myself a promise that things would be different when I was released, they only spiraled more out of control. I have been in prison 7 times for crack cocaine. This drug is not a respecter of person it can affect anyone. Several years ago, Joann (Founder of created.) was a student, she was living at the house that I live in now. In my addiction many times I would be so hungry, dirty, and tired. Joann and the rest of the ladies would invite me in to eat and rest. Many times I couldn’t believe how kind they were to me and they would open their arms and doors to a perfect stranger. By being in the Created house it has given me the opportunity to get my live on track and to know God. Many times when God places you its right where you need to be.
— Helen