A transitional home for women and children that has been in the works for two years in Charlevoix is finally ready to open.
The Joppa House is following a new model in hopes of changing the lives of those who stay there. Itâ??s going beyond giving these women a bed for the night. They created a program that will help them learn life skills and get out of the cycle of homelessness.
â??This is a long-term relationship that we intend to have with our ladies,â?? Pastor Ginger Stevens, the Joppa House Ministries Director said.
Stevens got the idea after realizing homeless shelters didnâ??t always help women get out of poverty.
â??A lot of young people, a lot of women, did not have the life skills they needed to sustain independent living and were finding themselves in the cycle of poverty and homelessness over and over and over again,â?? Stevens said.
The Joppa house has a program called Stepping Stones. It will take women anywhere from six to 18 months to complete. It starts with basics such as personal hygiene, and ends with teaching women how to get a job and be valued members of the community.
â??It helps to instill various life values and skills,â?? Joppa House board member Dan Barron said. â??In order to run a household or raise a family to have healthy relationships to obtain and hold employment these are life skills that can carry on for the rest of these ladies lives in the lives of their children.â??
Directors said the home wouldnâ??t be possible without the support of the community. The house costs 400 thousand dollars, and everything was donated or bought with grants, even the house itself which was given by the Catholic church.
â??The community has just been incredible in support of this endeavor to be able to provide for our people that are less fortunate than we are,â?? Stevens said.
Directors hope other communities will create similar programs.
â??With our diligent efforts and contemplated success here, that will have other communities want to implement similar programs in there towns as well,â?? Barron said.
The Joppa House is current taking applications and doing interviews, and will begin housing women and children in July.