Heather’s Hope giving women a second chance (
Heather’s Hope in Comanche was started to give women who have been incarcerated or in trouble with the law a second chance by providing them with the resources and support they need to get their life back on track.
Today (Thursday), Heather’s Hope Housing is part of Texoma Gives, an opportunity for nonprofits to connect with the larger community to raise funds for their organizations.
Heather’s Hope is striving to reach a $25,000 goal and 100 new donors. The funds raised will help provide family homes for women who are reunited with their children and need continued support as they build a new life together.
According to its website, www.chh-cares.com, the organization “provides housing and opportunities for women to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, grow in their recovery as they set goals to be restored to their families and live as healthy, happy women that are self-sufficient and productive in society. This is a faith-based home to be used for the glory of God. Heather’s Hope Housing will serve women who are transitioning out of the need for a life change, recovery, prison or jail and show a sincere desire to have Christ active in their lives.”
Four women who are currently involved in Heather’s Hope, have nothing but great things to say about the program.
The women come from different areas and are different ages, but they do share similar backgrounds where they had a history of run-ins with the law. They all decided it was time to finally make that change and to leave that lifestyle behind.
Cindy, 50, has been in the program for 3 1/2 months. She was incarcerated for drugs and gambling.
Orginally from Cushion, she had been in trouble with the law on and off for four years.
“There weren’t just a lot of resources when I got out,” Cindy said. “So, you go right back to the streets and where you were.”
Fay, 32, who grew up in Custer County, found herself incarcerated for drugs and stealing cars. She added when someone walked out of prison all they had was the clothes on their
back and a $50 check.
And when a bad lifestyle hurts family relationships, there may not be family on the outside ready to take them in.
Jill, 30, from Duncan, echoed the same sentiments.
“Being incarcerated was a real eye-opener,” Jill said. “They give you $50 and kick you out. You end up doing a lot of the same stuff with a lot of the same struggles.”
Ashley, 31, has been in the program the longest in the group at six months. She also had gotten involved in drugs.
All the women became involved in a Women in Transition program while in prison. One of the leaders is Kathy Peacock, who is a board member for Heather’s Hope. She helps the women get connected with the group.
Heather’s Hope director Pam Dobbins said the organization is having to learn how to constantly adjust to meet the needs of women because they change.
The women cite a relationship with God and in some cases being reunited with children.
“I finally get to rebuild my relationship with my children,” Ashley said. “I’m ready to be back with my children and I couldn’t do it without Heather’s Hope. This is really my last chance to get it right.”
“If it wasn’t for Heather’s Hope, it would be really hard to live and get by,” she said. “You have Christian Helping Hands, the pantry and the people here love and care for us. You don’t find that in other places, you just don’t.”
“There are just so many resources available here,” Cindy said. “You come out of prison with the clothes on your back. Here, we get to work, go to Celebrate Recovery and go attend church. It’s a stable environment. You don’t have to worry so much.”
And while the they do get plenty of resources, Dobbins points out they also contribute to the community as well.
“These ladies here have already been working at churches and ministries to give back to this community,” Dobbins said. “We learn from them as much as they learn from us.”
Jill said the goal is to become a better person and a mom.
“I just gave it to God, and he walks with me every day,” she said.
“It’s been really good,” Fay said. “There’s been some tough times but with the tools and resources, the spiritual walk, and the relationships that we have built, it’s been good.”
Fay said it was the spiritual side that finally got her turned around after not succeeding before.
“I have a relationship with God this time,” she said. “I got tired of running and living like I was. I gave up and asked God to save me.”
Jill said her goal is to take advantage of all the resources available and leave it to God to help her get back on track.
Fay wants to give back to the youth and young adults to help them steer clear of the path that she chose.
“Reach out to those services that can help and don’t be stuck in the darkness,” Fay said. “They can step out and be all God wants them to be.”
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