A message of hope for a brighter future

Published 12:10 am Saturday, October 21, 2017

There was hardly a dry eye in the Three Oaks Barn on Thursday night as women from Hope Harbor explained how they had first succumbed then overcome addiction at the annual Hope’s Harvest banquet.

The women all took different paths before entering the Christian rehabilitation center, but the tears of raw relief were difficult not to empathize with as they talked about the final breaking points that led them to make a lasting change in their lives. Hope Harbor generally hosts eight women at a time in its yearlong Christian recovery program, but without community support, many women would not be able to afford to be there.

“There are many, many girls who need to come to Hope Harbor,” co-founder Dee Clark said. “A lot of times in their addiction, they drain their parents of everything before they come to Hope Harbor, so it is hard for them to come up with the money to come. When we have enough money, we can bring girls in to help them where parents can’t support.”

The program offers a message of hope for the future to the women who enter the program. That hope for a better future can be one of the most valuable assets to these women in their struggle to create a new, clean life.

“We live in a world where you hear constant bad news, but we’ve got good news,” organizer Kim King said. “There is hope. There are still good people in this world. You can still do something to help, and tonight is about sewing financially into our message of hope.”

The funds raised at the annual banquet aren’t the only benefit though. The community support that the program’s graduates experience at the banquet, which was sold out this year, reinforces the feeling of community support for these women.

“It brings the community together for one cause, and that is addiction, and it gives the girls the opportunity to show who they are and not what they were,” co-founder Stan Clark said. “We don’t really care where they’ve been. We just want to know where they are going, and this gives them a long-term opportunity to do that. With the community involved — they know what we are, they know what we do — it is a boost for these girls to see the community coming together for them.”

So far, Hope Harbor has 50 graduates from its yearlong Warm Springs based program. The facility first opened in February 2005 and has continued to grow since then adding equine therapy in 2008.

“Our success rate is like 87 percent, which is over the top for most programs. They call them rehabs, we call ours a restoration program,” Dee Clark said. “Our success rate is so much higher because we are small, and we can minister to the ladies one-on-one.”

Organizers have noted the difference that the program has made in the lives of not just the women, but in their families as well, and they expressed their hope that the community will continue supporting the program in the future through fundraisers like the Freedom Ride in April, the bake sale in November and December and sponsorships.

“To me, the thing that seems to benefit the most is monthly sponsors,” volunteer Tim Twilley said. “It doesn’t have to be much, just a small $10 a month donation, but anybody that can support on a regular basis helps more than anything.”

Hope Harbor is a 12-month, residential, Christian recovery program servicing women who struggle with addiction located in Warm Springs. To learn more about Hope Harbor, visit Hopeharbor.com or call (706) 333-0000.