ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Women from across the country are coming to Alamance County for help turning their lives around. They’re coming to a recovery center called Mary’s House, run by the religious nonprofit Living Free Ministries.
Mary’s House is open to women struggling with a number of issues, from challenges in their lives such as divorce and depression, or problems with alcohol.
Living Free Ministries also runs a men’s treatment center. The leaders of Living Free Ministries wanted to expand and create a place to help women too.
At the beginning of the year, they were able to raise enough money to purchase property and a home with room for 12 women to stay.
Mary’s House opened to its first woman on July 4th. Since then they’ve been at capacity, with woman coming from places like South Dakota.
Christie Doss, who runs Mary’s House says it’s bittersweet because she wants to be able to help even more women.
“The other hard thing is what we’ve seen is there seem to be more recovery opportunities for men as there are for women. Less opportunity so we might get two to three times as many applications in a week than the men’s because there’s so few opportunities for women,”
Some say they have tried other centers, but the religious focus of Mary’s House has helped them the most.
Mary’s House is free for the women who stay there. Living Free Ministries gets about 65 percent of its funding through the four thrift stores they run. The other 35 percent comes from donations.
The women who stay in Mary’s House work in a new store the nonprofit opened, called Redefined. The store sells repurposed and refinished furniture the women work to create. While at Mary’s House they are taught different skills to craft the pieces.
The women say it gives them a chance to physically show some of the changes they are seeing internally.
“It’s so fun because we take furniture from Living Free Thrift stores where the men work. So I like to look at it like, often times when I tell people I got here I was just broken. I was so unhappy and just didn’t have any value and I didn’t know where to get that value from. So it’s kind of like tat furniture over there,” Loren Sykes said.
Sykes is one of the women staying at Mary’s House.
Right now the store has a Christmas theme with a lot of decorations along with the furniture for sale. Redefined is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday starting at 10AM.