The Founders: Our Story

Jessie and Nancy

The concept for this endeavor arose from our desire to combine our skills and passions to create something totally unique. We bring with us our love for the Deaf community, our love for animals, and a strong desire to work outside the box to build a space of belonging, kindness, collectivist action, compassion, and exploration. We intend to use our organization as a vehicle to strengthen the Deaf Community through animal rescue, care, and adoption and the numerous programs, activities, and opportunities this work creates.

Nancy Romer, an interpreter raised by Deaf parents, spent 30 years interpreting in the classrooms of K-12 mainstream schools. She is a committed activist finding ways to make a difference for DHH kids. She served as a member of the National Association of the Deaf’s Educational Strategy Team. Nancy loves animals and is a vegetarian.

Jessie Romer, originally from Boston, grew up with dogs and cats and has always had a love for animals. Her experience at summer camp working on the farm helped shape her decision to make animals a permanent part of her life. She became a vegetarian at the age of 14 and is now vegan. She has worked as a vet tech and gained skills which she brings to caring for foster dogs in need. Jessie decided to pursue ASL when she was 21 and quickly fell in love with the Deaf community. She has been working as a freelance interpreter since 1997.

We have been together since 1999 and have 2 kids, Travis and Katherine, both grown and beautiful! We have 5 dogs, 4 cats, and 2 potbelly pigs who bring us much joy everyday!

In 2009, after 5 years of being a foster home for dogs and cats through a local nonprofit rescue organization, we decided to found our own 501(c) (3) rescue organization, Bliss Animal Haven, which we operated at our home east of Atlanta on 3 acres. To date, we have rescued and cared for over 400 dogs and 100 cats in our home. In the final few years of operating Bliss, we shifted our mission to focus solely on saving senior, special needs, and medically needy dogs at risk of euthanasia at local animal control facilities. Our time as directors of Bliss Animal Haven was incredibly fulfilling and challenging and gave us many of the tools we needed to prepare for the transition to Five Freedoms Farm. To see the full history of Bliss Animal Haven, visit our old website:

Alana Beal, 3rd generation Deaf, is our Life Coach. We have been working with Alana since April 2015 to formulate our vision and planning. Alana has been key in helping us to craft our plan of action and brings with her a wide network of connections within the Deaf community!

Alana is currently doing interviews with Deaf people around the country in order to document what Deaf people want for themselves, their lives, and their community. This collection of life experiences, values, beliefs, and desires serves as a road map for all of our planning and development. We plan to share this information with Deaf agencies and organizations as well.

We welcome your input! To sign up to be interviewed, email us at:

Alana Beal, Life Coach: