ROAD TO RECOVERY: Women search for new life at the Magdalene House of El Dorado

Arkansas News

UNION COUNTY, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Four women in El Dorado are getting a second chance after suffering from abuse and addiction. Now, they’re hoping to receive new life through a year program at the Magdalene House of El Dorado.

“Getting back to love and being loved. That’s a big one,” one woman said.

The residents didn’t want to be identified but they all agree the road to recovery is not easy.

“I felt like I was in a bottomless pit. I was crying all the time. I couldn’t focus. It was affecting my son and his wife,” she said. “It’s very ugly. It’s sad and just an awful place to be.”

The pandemic only spiraling that need to cope through her 25 year long addiction to opioids but for the sake of her own health and her family, she chose to seek help and is finding strength at the Magdalene House of El Dorado.

It’s the second of its kind in Arkansas and the first in the county for women who suffer from abuse, addiction or exploitation.

Magdalene House is a nation-wide program that offers women an opportunity to turn their lives around. With the help from the SHARE Foundation, the program was able to secure a grant to get the program jumpstarted.

A home was purchased in the winter of 2019 and by February 2020, the renovations on the home were complete and applications became available.

One resident began the program in June while others began filing in by October. The pandemic put a brief halt in some plans but the women have been able to proceed despite setbacks.

The woman that spoke with NBC10 said she has been sober since living in the recovery home. She and the other women are focusing on mental and financial counseling and job trainings in addition to learning self-love and worth.

“This place is life changing,” she said, “It has helped me to have structure. It’s giving me a foundation which I haven’t had in a long time.”

Some of the women didn’t graduate high school and are spending their time teaching themselves so that they can take the steps to receive their GED and pursue their own career goals.

“I always interested in getting more schooling but I was always too busy in my life and in my addiction that I didn’t have time.”

The Magdalene House of El Dorado is now full but that doesn’t mean those out there who are struggling can’t find restoration. The women hope after this program is complete they will leave as a different person from when they came.

“Before I was a very broken shy, sad and quiet person,” she said. “My goal is to be confident and strong.”

The Magdalene House is looking for help from the community to support these residents. Ministry volunteer, Melinda Gatheright, says the first thing the public can do is pray for these women but they are also seeking assistance in other areas.

“We’re looking for church group, individuals that are interested in doing devotional work or praying for our ministry. We need people to help us with transportation because obviously we have four ladies that are needing to get to and from multiple therapy sessions, activities and just things that they are interested in doing,” she said.

You can contact Gatheright at 870-918-8709 for more information on how you can help.

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