New Graduate Spotlight
This month we are spotlighting our newest program graduate Callie! Callie is 18-months clean and sober, employed, and is a source of wisdom and support for our newer residents. She has overcome many obstacles during her time in this program and it has truly been an honor to work with her!
I have been in and out of treatment 10+ times and I’ve always relapsed. I have been to prison twice and this past time when I got to prison, God found me and it was just different for me this time. My counselor that I had in prison set a lightbulb off in me. I remember telling her, “I know that relapse is part of recovery.” But she said, “But it doesn’t have to be.” I had always used that as a permission statement. I had lost my children, I had been a prostitute, and had done a lot of illegal things, all because of my addiction. I had this awakening. And being here at MSH has only made me want to get better. The staff, volunteers, and interns and how much they truly care has made me want to get better even more. The freedom of choice here has too.
I came to MSH because I just wanted something different. I always got out of prison and went back to where I was from. I thought MSH was run by a church group that I knew from prison, but a lot of the women from that church were involved here. I just felt the Lord calling me to this place. I have achieved many of my goals during my time at MSH. I have accomplished staying clean and sober for 18 months and have met a beautiful group of women that have helped me here. I have regained a relationship with my daughter and haven’t given up when I have been rejected by my other two children. Also, I was diagnosed with MS and I’m still not high today. I have learned to be honest and work through my issues. Additionally, I have a job that I love and I am working toward becoming a peer support specialist.
My future plans are to be a positive role model in all my children’s lives. I hope to be a peer support specialist and do a job that I love. My dream is to work here, at Magdalene and also to remain clean and sober and to help others like me. I want to stay connected to MSH because I love the staff, volunteers, and interns. I love that they actually care; that has been a huge deal in my recovery. I have been to a lot of different treatment programs and no other staff cares like they do. I also love that it’s a 2 year program because you need that time. I love everything about it–I can’t tell you one thing that I dislike.
My advice to others is to face your fears and be open and honest with yourself. Be vulnerable, that’s the key to what unlocks being able to look at yourself. And to stick around when it gets tough and lean on the support that you have.
-Callie, MSH Graduate
Update on Program Expansion
We are excited about a program expansion that opened up to us. In mid-November the house adjoining the NE corner of our property on Gregg Avenue came up for sale. We took a leap of faith and purchased this adjacent property, and we closed on the sale December 15!
We jumped at the opportunity because this property allows us to provide safe and secure rental property to women who are ready to leave Magdalene Serenity House. As we have celebrated the graduation of women from the MSH program, we also have lamented the lack of affordable, safe housing in Northwest Arkansas. Rent is very expensive, given the types of first jobs our graduates can secure. Many landlords will not rent to felons, and some affordable places are near drug dealers.
This new home will allow up to four of our former residents to have safe, affordable housing as they build income and savings. The vision is for our graduates to pay a reasonable rent to Magdalene Serenity House in exchange for a safe and supportive home as they venture into their new lives. The proximity of this home to our current property ensures additional support if our graduates need it.
We have raised the full cost of the purchase, but we must replace the electrical system, add smoke detectors, an oven & vent, replace a shower, and fully furnish the 1,360 square foot house. (A bonus — we have a full basement with bathroom and washer dryer and lots of potential program space, and a double garage.) Estimated costs to fully repair and furnish — $20,000 to $25,000.
We are hoping that those who support the mission of MSH will help us continue to live into this vision. Our graduates are demonstrating that the healing sanctuary of Magdalene Serenity House works just as we envisioned. Women who have survived childhood trauma, sexual abuse, incarceration and addiction are finding freedom and agency in a safe, supportive environment — and they need local, safe, and affordable housing to continue on their journey.
Help us open the road to recovery and health through this new aftercare home. Make a gift today!
”Heal One Woman. Heal a Community”
Thank you for your support,
We have a full house and our residents continue to achieve their goals and move forward in their recovery. We welcomed three new residents home this month. They are settling in nicely and have a lot of support from our staff and senior residents!
- One of our residents purchased her first car!
- One of our residents presented her portfolio and moved into Phase Three!
- We have three residents preparing to graduate next year!
- Did you know that interested folks can download our application online? Folks can also apply for admission over the phone by calling 479-301-2326.
- Want to support our residents? We keep an up-to-date list of current needs on our Amazon Wish List. Check it out today!
Have you watched our new video? Thank you to Gary Weidner, Paul Green, and the residents and staff at MSH for putting together this video to share our mission!
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!
A BIG thank you to the physicians at Her Health and the NICU at Washington Regional for purchasing Christmas gifts for each of our residents. Many of our women have not had a Christmas in years and these gifts are sure to make this holiday extra special. We appreciate your generous support of our mission to rebuild the lives of women who have experienced trauma, addiction, and incarceration