After three failed attempts to secure a home for a women’s transitional housing facility, the ladies of Liberty House Ministries were beginning to feel defeated — until they stumbled on a large, vacant property within the county that seemed to suit their needs all too well.
On Feb. 1, Nancy Anderson, Linda Miget and Dawn Winningham officially purchased the property, located on 40 Cora Lane on Highway O, which was once the location for an adult mental care facility.
For the last two months, the three women have rehabbed the building, stocked it with furniture and all other necessities to accommodate roughly seven women — all in preparation for their eventual opening in the next few months.
Liberty House Ministries is a faith-based transitional home, and will adhere to women recently released from prison, rehab, or who are simply looking for “a new start on life,” Anderson said.
The organization is not-for-profit, and the women who run it won’t receive any salary.
“All the money will go to running the ministry,” Anderson said.
Through the program, women are offered several life-altering opportunities, like educational assistance, employment assistance, financial planning, individual and group counseling. Twenty-four-hour supervision is provided, and residents are evaluated, personal goals are discussed and an individual program is set for achieving the goals.
“This has been in my heart to do this for a long time,” Anderson said. “But it’s for those who want a lifestyle change; they have to really want it.”
Winningham, vice president and housing director, went through a very similar situation herself after a prison release. Anderson said Winningham was apart of a different transitional home that Anderson once ran, and she did so well in the program that she was given early release from parole.
Now Winningham is working to make such success possible for women that were in her situation, as she, Anderson and Miget created quite a unique “flow” to the home that will adhere to said success.
There are four bedrooms within the large home. The first three will house two women each, and the fourth is for a single occupant — but for good reason.
Winningham said each room serves as a “step.” The better one does in the program, the higher their chance of working their way to the fourth bedroom.
The first room, dubbed “The Princess Room,” is for those women who have just arrived. Decked out in pink and frills, the room is geared to helping new arrivals realize that they are beautiful, and they’re “worth something … it helps to boost confidence,” Winningham said.
After a month or so of decent progress in the program, women staying in the Princess Room transition to the next room, “The Butterfly Room.”
“This is the transformation room,” Anderson said, standing in the middle of the room rife with butterfly décor. “Where you can rid of some of your baggage.”
Should a resident continue to improve, she’ll transition to the third room, “The Monkey Room.”
“This room sort of represents the teenage years; moving up in the world,” Winningham said. “Here, they can relax a little more and have more fun.”
Though it hasn’t been completely decorated yet, it will very much adhere to its name.
The fourth room — what the ladies like to call “The Apartment” — is for those residents nearing the end of their program.
“She can finally have a room of her own,” Anderson said.
The home also boasts a full kitchen, a living room, a library, a laundry/utility area and a recreational room. The ladies estimate that most residents will stay anywhere from six to 12 months at Liberty House, depending on their progress or individual needs.
However, the facility has strict rules and regulations, and the ladies won’t hesitate to remove an individual if said guidelines are broken.
Anderson said as residents begin to move into the workforce, they are required to contribute 10 percent of their salary to subsidize their stay.
She said much of what Liberty House has received — renovation materials, furniture, etc. — came strictly through donations and generous hearts.
She, along with Winningham and Miget, wanted to thank the following donors for their support with the project: Friendly Furniture, Ross Furniture, Perryville Discount Furniture, Rozier’s, Jim Kiefer Construction and the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.
Currently, Liberty House is in need of two more bed sets for one of the four rooms.
For those interested in donating, or for more information, call (573) 517-8310.