Resident Spotlight

This month we are celebrating two of our incredible residents at MSH. Check out their powerful testimonies and why they decided to continue their healing journey at Magdalene Serenity House. We are incredibly proud of these two brilliant women and all they have accomplished at MSH. A big thank you to our community of supporters who make it possible for our residents to achieve their dreams at MSH!

“My name is Nichole and I have been at the Magdalene Serenity House for almost a year. I came from twenty years of meth addiction and finally made a decision to change my life. When I heard about MSH, I was like, “ No way.” but something inside me kept saying that I should give it a chance so I contacted April! Here I am now, in cosmetology school and learning new ways to function in a society that I thought had given up on me. Turned out I had given up on myself. MSH gave me hope and the opportunity for a life I’ve never had. My new plans are to graduate college, continue to thrive, and grow old with my children”.

“My name is Lacy and I am thirty three years old. I first started using meth when I was 16. Been in and out of jail and prison. Was constantly doing whatever I could to get high. Rather it be stealing from my family and friends or the stores. I was very absent in my son’s life. I was beginning to believe that I was going to be stuck in that cycle for the rest of my life. This last time I went to jail I just knew I was going back to prison. I prayed and prayed that I would have a chance to go to a sober living house. My good friend from high school messaged me on jail mail and told me that if I was ready for help then she could help me get in here. I chose to come here because I was ready for something and I had seen what it had done to Sophia’s life and I wanted that so bad. Now I am in phase four of drug court, bought a car, have a job I enjoy, and am looking for my own place for me and my son. My future plans are to still be involved in MSH however I can, stay active in AA, and to help others when I can. I love the staff and volunteers here. They have helped me get my life back.”

Staff Spotlight

Hello there, my name is Sophia Dugwyler and I am the Resident Support Specialist here at Magdalene Serenity House. Last year I was the first MSH graduate and am so grateful for the opportunity to come back and serve my people. After more than a decade of substance abuse, multiple trips to prison, and a gruesome trail of strained relationships and broken dreams, I was finally presented with a solution to the lifestyle that had caused me so much anguish. I found hope, support, and a design for living here at MSH. I completely turned my life around. My life is beautiful and full of purpose and love today! I am able to help other women make the same changes in their own lives by facilitating groups, offering one-on-one support to residents, providing accountability, and striving to make myself available and relatable to them. One addict or alcoholic working with another provides a unique opportunity for connection. I see so much growth and positive changes that our residents continuously make and I am so glad to be a part of that process. Today I live in a beautiful apartment with my son and my boyfriend, just right up the road from MSH. I practice a thorough 12-step program as well as attending S.M.A.R.T. recovery meetings. Lately, I have shifted much energy into incorporating exercise and early mornings into my routine. Every day that I work on my recovery and practice the principles that are outlined in my programs, is another day that I have to thank MSH and an opportunity to pass forward what was so freely given to me.

-Sophia Dugwyler, Resident Support Specialist

Resident Achievements

  • Our residents continue to achieve their goals and move forward in their recovery. We remain a full house and love seeing our residents continue to make significant progress on their healing journey!
  • Our next graduate secured a safe place for her and her son to live right down the street from MSH! Thank you Genesis Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Kristi Palmer for helping us get her into a safe apartment.
  • One of our residents started a new job at Chartwells at The U of A.
  • We have three residents in Phase Three (the final phase) of our program.
  • One of our senior residents was promoted to an Assistant Manager at her job!
  • Our newest resident is preparing for her Phase Two portfolio presentation!
  • Our Resident Support Specialist, Sophia, finished her Smart Recovery facilitator training.

Are you following us on Instagram and Facebook? We post daily pictures and updates on what we are up to at Magdalene Serenity House. Give us a follow and share widely with your friends. We appreciate your support!

Intern Spotlight

Hi, my name is Savannah Geiger! I am 28, I live in Fayetteville, I have a cat named Chaplin and a dog named Charlie, and I am the new MSW (Master of Social Work) intern at Magdalene Serenity House. I have worked for several years at local mental health agencies that serve the children of NWA. Mostly, I have worked with kids ages 5-18 and their families in either a public-school setting or at a therapeutic day treatment facility, learning and practicing healthy behaviors to cope with mental health diagnoses. I have really connected with the teens I worked with, and saw a place for me as a therapist with them, once I have a license to be a therapist. Fast forward to today, I am in my last year of online grad school with the University of Louisville, in Kentucky. I am so passionate about helping families in NWA. The more I work in our community the more motivated I am to finish school so I can start using what I have learned to help the families in our community thrive. I am so pleased to have this opportunity to work with Magdalene Serenity House! I have already met several incredible people, both residents and staff, that have shown me how unique and vital the resources at MSH are, and I know that I will be learning much more in the next several months that will make me a better social worker for NWA.

My name is Michelle Bruning and I am a Senior social work student at the University of Arkansas, and I am so excited to be back at Magdalene House! After undergrad, I plan to go to grad school to work toward my MSW. Additionally, I am minoring in substance use disorders, as I am very passionate about addiction treatment and advocating for sensible drug policy. Three things that bring me joy are drinking coffee, exercising, and watching movies!

In Giving News

We had two generous gifts this last month that are going to make a huge impact! The first, comes from the Bradberry Foundation and will allow us to purchase a riding lawn mower. Beginning with their mother Karlee, the Bradberry’s as a family have been tremendous supporters of MSH and have stepped in to help with our ongoing need of lawn care which enables us to achieve long-term, low cost yard services for the house. The second gift comes from our friend’s at Central United Methodist Church. Central has supported MSH since our genesis in 2017. From belief in our mission to support of general operating costs, Central has had our back. This time, Central is supporting the ongoing telehealth needs of our residents by helping us purchase tablets that can be used for mental health and medical appointments. Additionally, Central gave to our dental fund, which allows residents to receive treatment for urgent dental hygiene issues.

Interested in making a gift to MSH? Contact ashley@lovehealsnwa.org

%d bloggers like this: