Meanwhile, Oliver, whom Tedlock affectionately calls “Poppa Ted, “ baptized her and assured her that she would be the first to call the women’s center home as soon as it opened.
Eleven months later, the dream has become a reality.
“I was thinking about it this morning,” Tedlock said. “I woke up and I don’t have this heavy weight on my shoulders of if I’m going to make rent. I was at a motel for four months before this opened. It’s a big relief to know my son has a roof over his head.”
Also among the new residents is Amber Collier, who finished a six-month stay in state jail last Tuesday and immediately looked into moving into the women’s center. She said she had heard of ARM through her sister in-law before she was arrested, but wasn’t ready, at the time, to seek help. Now that she has been to jail, Collier said she is ready to make a change.
“I’m tired of that life,” she said. “I’m going to work on doing better. It feels good to be getting something good going for people. We’re excited to see it grow.”
Like Tedlock, Collier also has children and said she is working on reuniting with them and getting them moved into the center as she starts a new life.
Although the women’s center is open, the process has not been without bumps in the road. Live-in Residential Administrator Emily Bean said she and the other residents found out the evening before the center opened that they would be moving in. She and her husband quickly found themselves thrust into the situation, albeit a situation they were eager to undertake.
“I’ve had to be really flexible,” she said. “But once it happened, everyone was calm and it felt really peaceful and right. It didn’t feel like chaos. We really fell into a natural rhythm.”