The three are recovering drug addicts and have a goal of establishing a safe house — Patzy’s Safe Haven — for women released from jail and awaiting treatment.
The name is in honor of Harding’s sister, Patzy Jordan, who died of a drug overdose five years ago.
The three envision the safe house as working in conjunction with the local recovery community. The Counseling Center, Stepping Stones and HopeWorks all have played a role in their lives as the three went through treatment together.
“What we’ve found with these girls in jail is there is no hope. That’s what we want — to show them hope can be found,” Harding said.
“I was going into the jail with my sponsor (Denice) and we were talking with the women and they were explaining to us they had nowhere to go after they got out of jail … there has to be something we can do to help these women,” Taylor said. “They can’t go back into the environment they came from because it would just get them back into jail. So, we thought why can’t we start a safe house so these women can come to us and be safe while awaiting going into a treatment center.”
All three women take the 12-Step Recovery Program into jail.
“Listening to these people saying they have no safe place to go, you realize they’re either going to get high or drunk again. This is something we all three want to do together,” Adams said.
“These girls have no place to go,” Harding added. “It’s sad. They cry to us saying they have 30 or 60 days of being clean and if they go home they’re going to get high or drunk again. We thought if we opened a safe house for them, they can either do outpaitient through The Counseling Center or some other kind of program if they need it.”
While Harding made the following comment, Adams and Taylor agreed — “The newcomer, the new person coming in, is the most important person because we can only keep our serenity by helping others.”
Taylor said, “We have to do something. We had help — The Counseling Center, Stepping Stones, HopeWorks … We want to do this together to help each other. If we can help someone else stay clean, we can stay clean.”
Adams said, “In order to keep what we have, we have to give it away. It’s a requirement,” as Harding added, “Our sobriety. We give back what we’ve been freely given — helping others.
Taylor explained, “In treatment, we learn tools on how to stay clean, and if we’re clean we can help somebody else stay clean.
“The only reason this is happening to us is because God is in our lives,” Taylor said. “When I was in active addiction, I didn’t think about God; I didn’t think about my family; I didn’t think about anything. All I thought about was getting high. Today it’s different — we’ve learned to use a higher power, which is God …”
Citing once again the work of The Counseling Center, Stepping Stones and HopeWorks, Taylor said Patzy’s Safe Haven “is going to be one of those things where God is at the center, and we help each other and learn from each other.”
“That’s what it’s all about,” Harding said.
The three say it will take about $5,000 to get started, but the first thing they need is $125 to get their corporation and tax exemption status, then, they will start writing their grants.
“Until we get the money to file, we can’t apply for grant money,” Harding said. “This is such a great recovering community, but it needs to be shared. This area really needs this. There are so many people into drugs that don’t no any better. Ignorance is not bliss.”
Adams said donations of any kind will be appreciated. The group is still working on securing a residence that eventually will fulfill their mission and provide a place of hope and healing.
DEBORAH DANIELS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 234.