Mineral Wells Index
By CLINT FOSTER
The day is fast approaching. After nearly 10 months of planning and preparation, Addiction Recovery Ministries' new Women's Center, or Women's Life Recovery Unit, is less than a week away from opening its doors to the people of Mineral Wells stricken with addiction and poverty and seeking to overcome each.
Its a journey that began for the faith-based program on Dec. 4 of last year. ARM Director and Pastor Ted Oliver took a client home that night, as he has done so often throughout his 40 years in recovery ministry.
She was a single mother with two children, and as she described the squalid conditions in which her family had to live, Oliver was mortified.
ARM already had its Residential Program for men and the Life Recovery Program that serves an average of 75 clients a week through a life-skills curriculum that boasts a 75-percent success rate. But as of yet, it was clear that a key need in the ministry was not being met.
Oliver made it his mission to find a home for single mothers.
Now the Women's Center is days from opening with that same mother who launched Oliver's dream signed on as a resident.
But ARM still needs a helping hand from the community to get its new women's center on its feet.
Oliver said the ministry needs donations to outfit the facility. When the building opens its doors Saturday, it will be habitable, but completely empty of the necessities of a home. Everything from furniture, including twin beds and night stands, to toiletries, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies and canned foods is needed.
"These women come in with their shirt on their back and that's about it," Oliver said. "It's not like an institutional situation, it's very homey. You have to think in terms of it's got to be like home for somebody who has nothing."
ARM plans to have 25 people occupying the new women's center within the first couple of weeks, making the need for donations all the more pressing. Several area churches, namely St. Marks Lutheran Church, have already stepped up to begin collecting items for the center.
Oliver said in addition to all of the home goods they will need, ARM will also need to get school supplies for the children who come to live at the facility so that they can be put through school.
ARM will hold an open house on Saturday in celebration of the facility's grand opening beginning at 11 a.m. It's a great opportunity to drop off donations, see the newly renovated building, enjoy BBQ and enter the raffle for ARM's Model T Roadster.
Many prominent members of the community have given ARM and its facilities, especially the new women's unit, glowing reviews. Mineral Wells Mayor Mike Allen, Police Chief Dean Sullivan, Palo Pinto County Chief of Juvenile Probation Robert Kimbrell and County Community Supervision and Corrections Department Director James French are just a few of the prominent local officials who have publicly voiced their support.
"We believe that [the Women's Life Recovery Unit] would address a plethora of needs for the target population as well as those for a number of our own clientele," French said. "Our agency has worked with ARM since their inception. To state that ARM is a valued resource to our agency and an asset to our community would be a gross understatement."
"We need a resource that would refer families and women to the Women's Life Recovery Unit," Kimbrell said. "The recovery of our families and women should be our No. 1 concern, especially when working with our youth and the family unit."
Those interested in making donations should call ARM's office at 940-325-7499 or simply drop by with donations at 112 South Oak in Mineral Wells. For more information about ARM and the Women's Center, visit their website at www.addictionrecoveryministries.org.