Where is Bottom?

We often hear people comment that someone who is not ready to make lifestyle changes relating to addiction, have not yet hit bottom. Where is bottom? Is it in a cardboard box behind a dumpster, a jail cell, a hotel room estranged from family and friends, sleeping in the car, spending your last bit of savings on a bottle or a hit, trading sex for drugs?

Do people have “different” bottoms? What does this mean for people who want to help others achieve a sober lifestyle? Do we wait until someone hits bottom before offering assistance? How will we know when the person hits bottom? Should we make suggestions about how close to bottom they might be?

Another platitude that helps people rationalize why they don’t reach out to people in their addictions is, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.” We can use this when we feel that we have offered numerous resources, numerous times. “I did everything I could, the ball is now in your court.” One man who had been in addiction for years and was living on the street responded to “you can lead a horse….” by saying, “Yes, but you can make them thirsty.” Darn.

What does making someone thirsty entail?

The Salvation Army in Phoenix has a residence for women not unlike MSH. It is in a historic section of the city and has a wonderful yard. The house is gorgeous and was remodeled to meet the needs of residents. Having a residence in this type of neighborhood is rare. Many facilities serving the homeless and those with substance use disorder are located in fairly rundown, poorer sections of town. No lack of NIMBYism (Not in my backyard). When the director of the program was complimented on the residence he said, “If you want people to aspire, you have to give them something to aspire towards.” He was talking about making people thirsty…providing motivation to change.

At MSH we work toward making our residents thirsty. We want them to aim toward healthy lifestyles. We model behavior and provide examples of a healthy lifestyle. Residents are given the tools, time, and space to reach their goals. We have heard people say we pamper our residents. If pampering means providing them the services they need to be healthy and the means to become self-sufficient, then we are pampering them. If you want someone to strive for quality…..you show them quality.

Not everyone is ready to change unhealthy behavior but we can offer hope and perhaps motivation before they hit bottom.

MSH Wish List

This year we will be welcoming new residents to Magdalene Serenity House. We anticipate having three new residents by the end of the summer. We are so excited to welcome them home to begin their healing journey. We have created a Wish List of common items for the household and for the welcome basket we provide to each new resident. We are so grateful to each of you who have donated thus far. If you have any questions about our Wish List please contact april@lovehealsnwa.org.

Outdoor Classroom

We have started work on our outdoor classroom! A HUGE thank you to each of you who donated toward this project. We will be pouring concrete, adding a fence, landscaping, and purchasing outdoor furniture. Our residents cannot wait to enjoy the outdoor space and soak up the sun!

Resident Accomplishments

  • Two of our new residents earned their key to the house! Residents earn a key after being at MSH for 60 days.
  • One of our residents celebrated 5 months clean and sober, while another celebrated 3 months clean and sober.
  • We welcomed home one new resident and she is doing really well.
  • One of our residents was able to get her driver’s license reinstated.

Welcome our New Development Coordinator!

Ashley is a Master’s of Social Work graduate from the University of Arkansas and has been with the organization since Magdalene’s doors opened in 2017. She has completed two internships with Magdalene and worked as Assistant Program Director in the Spring of 2018. Ashley will be assisting in identifying grants and opportunities that could aid the organization’s upward mobility. Additionally, she will be managing ongoing donor stewardship and is looking forward to further connecting with the vast network of supporters who have helped Magdalene maintain a vision of healing a community, one woman at a time.

Volunteer Spotlight

Pat and Tina became volunteers with Magdalene shortly after our doors opened. Together they lead a weekly group which teaches spiritual principles that apply to practical living. Pat has engaged our residents in a number of community events and Tina graciously volunteered her time and vehicle to help our recent graduate move into her new apartment. They’ve both provided a number of rides for our residents and continual support to Magdalene Serenity House. Are you interested in volunteering with Magdalene? We are currently in need of drivers to assist our residents to work, appointments, and meetings. Please e-mail Liz@lovehealsnwa.org for more information.