Resident Spotlight

This month we are spotlighting another one of our outstanding residents! Read below to learn more about our most senior resident, Shannon. She has been at MSH over a year and has been a true leader in our community. We are grateful each and every day that we have the honor to walk alongside Shannon on her healing journey!

Shannon’s Story

I came here from ACC after being there for 10 months and I’ve been here 15 months now. I have two kids and my life has improved tremendously. My relationships with my kids are getting better and my relationships in general are too. I also have had a job for a year at a health food store. I really love my job, as well as my coworkers. I love being sober and I’m supported here.

I came to MSH to be in a stable environment where I can be in a recovery-type setting and get the support I need to maintain sobriety. I also came to work toward my financial goals, learn different ways to cope with anxiety and stress, and to be in a community-based environment to practice good social skills. More than that, I am also here to maintain employment, be consistent, and to address any health issues.

I have accomplished so much at MSH. I have improved relationships with family, maintained sobriety, and been brave enough to ask for help when I needed it. I am learning how to support other people and I’ve maintained employment for a year along with getting a raise and vacation time. I have paid off $3,650 worth of fines and a personal debt of $2,500 and have squared away any past credit card debt. Additionally, I’ve gotten to the point where I can go a year between seeing my parole officer. I’m also on my third quilt, which takes about 6 months to make. I’ve gotten closer to God and become more self-aware of my thoughts and behaviors, improved my self-esteem, and have developed good eating, exercise, and sleeping habits. I participate in my recovery program to the best of my ability. I’m thankful because I have perfect health and have even gotten my teeth fixed. I have maintained seeing a therapist for my mental health for about 6 months and I’ve learned many yoga poses to use as coping and meditation skills. Also, I have learned about how to properly take care of plants in my collection and discovered I have a green thumb. Finally, I have gained supportive, close, and healthy friends and have gotten better at slaying my goals.

My future plans include buying a camper I can live in and finding a piece of land to live off of. I plan on maintaining great relationships with my kids and taking them places. I would also like to become a yoga teacher and would like to go to school or take some classes. I hope to continue to improve my self-image and social anxiety and maintain my sobriety and everything else I have gained here.

I love the staff and interns here at MSH. They always have great attitudes, they are very supportive, caring, and attentive to our needs. Anything we need is addressed immediately. They are always nonjudgmental and willing to help. I feel comfortable, safe, and supported here. The staff and interns lead by example to show me how to treat people.

-Shannon, Phase Three Resident

Staff Spotlight

Liz has been with MSH since opening its doors 3 years ago. She began as a Volunteer-Volunteer Coordinator and eventually was hired as staff. Her current role is Senior Operations Officer where she oversees community engagement, resident transportation, and assists the ED with house maintenance and operations. Liz is a 2014 graduate from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelors of Social Work and became an LSW in 2018.

When Liz is not working at MSH, she enjoys hanging out with her partner and 4 year old son, taking care of her chickens, and documentary film. Liz says the most enjoyable aspect of her job is working with the community. “We have an amazing sense of community here in NWA and I feel the reason MSH thrives is due largely to the support of our community members.”

-Liz Sims, Senior Operations Officer

Resident Achievements

  • Our residents continue to achieve their goals and move forward in their recovery. Check out all they have accomplished in the last month!
  • One of our residents graduated and moved into an apartment with her son!
  • One of our residents celebrated 11 months clean and sober.
  • One of our residents celebrated ONE YEAR at MSH.
  • One of our residents presented her portfolio and moved into Phase Two of our program and obtained employment!
  • We created a new therapy/private telehealth space thanks to a generous donation from the Fayetteville Junior Civic League.

Resident Support Specialist

Sophia, our first graduate, serves as a full-time Resident Support Specialist. This month she shares one of the big tasks she has been working on with our residents!

As Resident Support Specialist, I assist the ladies in taking the necessary steps, in order to reach their bigger goals. One of the tasks we have been working on, is obtaining all of the required documentation to apply for section 8 housing assistance. According to the Fayetteville Housing Authority website, “The housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments”.

It can be difficult and daunting to take on such a hefty list. In addition to making copies and hunting down paperwork, various residents had to obtain a valid I.D., request copies of legal documents, and send off for a thorough copy of their criminal history. I am able to support them throughout these processes and offer my lived experience in pursuing unique opportunities, no matter how discouraging the process may be. Sometimes valuable resources are neglected or abandoned because of the roadblocks that one encounters when going at it alone. It is a blessing for us to have so many opportunities available to us here in Fayetteville and the means to pursue them.

Sophia Dugwyler, Resident Support Specialist

Thank You Volunteers

University students are back and while school looks very different this year, it hasn’t stopped students from using their creativity to get involved. Alpha Chi Omega Sorority has partnered with MSH for 2 years in a row. From stuffing envelopes to transporting clients, the members have supported MSH in a variety of ways. This year in an effort to continue support, but still maintain distance, the sorority will be doing paper product drives for MSH. As one can imagine, paper towels, toilet paper, and feminine products can go fast in a home full of 8 women. We are so appreciative for the Alpha Chi Omega partnership!

Thank you to Howard, one of our volunteers, for building a ramp and repairing our shed to safely house our new riding lawnmower. We always need volunteers for outdoor projects. Email if you would like to be involved in an outdoor project!

Donor Stewardship

Would you like to be looped in to our quarterly program updates? We would love to give you a call to talk with you about the things the residents are doing and accomplishing in the MSH program. Please email to be placed on our Community Partner list and one of our staff (or residents!) will reach out every few months to update you on the impact Magdalene is having on the lives of women in our community.

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