“It’s never too late to change,” recovering addict and volunteer hopes women take advantage of new recovery home in El Dorado

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (02/24/20) — The Magdalene House of El Dorado has completed renovations and is now accepting applications for women survivors who are looking for a new life.

Magdalene House is a nation-wide program that offers women who suffered from abuse, addiction or exploitation an opportunity to turn their lives around.

Beth Rushing, volunteer with the program, will be mentoring residents and advising the non-profit organization on how to structure the program.

“It’s amazing. It’s like a miracle,” Rushing said. “I have so much that I can help with because I’ve been there.”

Rushing, 37, suffered drug addiction for over 20 years. The drugs were a coping mechanism for the abuse and anxiety she went through as a child.

She went through various programs like the Drug Corp and Alcohol and Drug Recovery programs. For her, those only helped for a little while.

“It only worked as long as I had consequences and when the consequences were gone I didn’t really change myself so I didn’t stay sober,” Rushing said.

She believes the Magdalene House has more to offer.

“It does so much more than just get you sober and give you a couple of classes to go to,” she said. “You have two years to get on your feet instead of 30 days in rehab and then you’re back out in the world.”

The Magdalene House is the first recovery home for women in Union County. Rushing didn’t have program as such to really invest in her in all aspects of her life.

The two year program will require a full commitment for the client but the benefits are plenteous. Throughout the course of the program, participants will mend broken relationships, gain confidence, learn financial tips and life skills. According to the website:

When a resident enters the program, the first step will involve getting accustomed to the house and community, getting connected to local resources (therapy, education, food stamps,) recovering from past addiction, abuse, or exploitation, and setting goals for future success.

While continuing to stay sober and focused, residents will eventually work on their second step. This time will involve finding a part time job to support herself. If residents do not have a GED upon entry into the house, this time will also be used for obtaining educational resources and receiving a GED. Residents are also encouraged to take advantage of educational opportunities to advance themselves, during this time.

The final and third step will be independence. Residents will work toward financial independence while continuing to work toward their own goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Third step residents will become leaders and examples of resurrection for other residents within the house. While staying active and engaged in the community life of Magdalene House, third step residents will encourage and support newer residents of the program.

The program is open to anyone anywhere who wants the help. Rushing hopes women take advantage of what’s being offered to them.

“You deserve to live. You deserve to be happy,” she said. “It’s not too late. No matter what you’ve done or how your life has been. It’s never too late to change.”

Applications can be found online. The non-profit organization is also looking for drivers to help transport the women around town. The house will currently hold four women but will eventually increase to six.


“To have an opportunity like this doesn’t happen everyday” El Dorado women’s home will open early next year, two year program provides road to recovery

EL DORADO, Ark. (12/27/19) — A new women’s home will be opening up for healing and recovery next year. It’ll be named the Magdalene House and will be the second of its kind in Arkansas.

“We have the opportunity to give a resident a second chance,” Board President of Magdalene House, Becky Choate said.

The process of offering this program has been four years in the making. It took time to research the program which was inspired by a group in Nashville also providing the same assistance.

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

When Choate and others started the research, it was met with much doubt. Choate said the first person she approached about it told her there was not a need in Union County. Other people she talked to after that disagreed.

“Thank goodness I didn’t stop with that one person,” she said. ““El Dorado is like any other community where you have the opioid crisis. We have the drugs. All of it goes hand in hand.”

They’re hoping to turn those felons and addicts, trauma victims and prostitutes into confident and productive women through a two year program. The program will require a full commitment from the client.

“It’s not an overnight heal,” Choate said. “A lot of them have burned a lot of bridges with friends and family and they’re down on their luck. They’ve got to get their life back together.

Much of that time will consist of mental and financial counseling and job trainings in addition to learning self-love and worth.

The house is being renovated now to house a total of six women, though they plan to start off with two and gradually work their way up.

It includes three bedrooms where two women will share the same room. It also two bathrooms, a washer/dryer, kitchen and living and dining area. Housing and counseling is free to the client. All they have to do is focus on recovery.

“To come into a place where you have a nice clean bedroom where you can get off of the street and not have to worry about financials for 2 years is huge for anybody,” Choate said.

From the marble on the countertops to the furniture in the rooms to what can’t be seen, Choate said everything about the house is a “God thing” and keeping the house open and running is going to take a community effort.

Delek Refinery has been a huge support system to the program so far. Choate plans to reach out to local churches, organizations and businesses for additional assistance.

“We’re obviously going to need funds to help keep this going,” she said.

The house renovations will be complete by mid-January. They hope to open up applications by early February. Before they can do that, they have to find an employer to do a wide-range of jobs including record keeping, transportation, logistics and scheduling.

“We need a person that has a heart for helping others because that’s what this program is,” she said. “It’s not going to be a one-stop job.”

If you would like work with the program you can contact Choates at (870) 863-7064 or email magdaleneeldorado@gmail.com. You can also find them on Facebook or on their website www.lovehealseldo.org.

If you or someone you know is interested in the program you can also refer to the contact information above for questions.

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