A safe home for the holidays

Published 12/23 2012 05:59PM

Updated 12/23 2012 06:17PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Five women are sharing a new home for the holidays. They started as strangers. But for the last two months, they've been working toward a common goal: dropping their dependency on drugs or alcohol and reconnecting with their families.

Like many others, Makia Jones is getting ready for the holidays. But instead of spending it at home in Danville, she'll be in Champaign.

"Since being here, I've got hope," said Jones. "I'm confident in myself. I feel good. I wake up happy everyday."

She lives with four other women at the Safe House in Champaign.

"I just felt like I hit rock bottom," said Jones. "I isolated myself from my family. It was time for a change. I wasn't happy with where I was in my life."

Jones' story is similar to the rest of the women there. Now all of them have a chance to start over.

"From the moment I stepped through the doors, I felt loved," said Jones. "This is my family. The girls are my sisters."

The year-long program gives them structure. It helps them rebuild their lives so they can reconnect with family, friends and their faith.

"Christ came to redeem us, to reclaim us," said Reverend BJ Tatum. "That's what's happening in the house: redemption."

"They can focus on their sobriety and getting to know The Lord," said director Kathy Ohl. "It keeps them from the environments they're used to being in."

Jones still has another ten months until she graduates from the program. But she hopes this sets a good foundation for her to build on in the future.

"Just reminds me everyday that I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me," said Jones. "With that I just keep going."

Jones said her husband and children visit her on the weekends. But she's looking forward to getting to be with them full-time after she's done there. 

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