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Women finding sobriety and a future through Hope & Recovery

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Hope House Coffee employees with the $2,500 check from their profits to Hope Network

A nonprofit organization in Rutherford County is successfully helping women transition from addiction to sobriety. There are 14 women in the Hope Network where they are attending meetings, studying the 12-step program and the Bible curriculum SALT. Most of the women have jobs and are working toward a better future.

Recently Hope Network received a $2,500 check from Hope House Coffee Company to help with the programs. A scheduled 5K race fundraiser in Forest City had to be cancelled earlier this month due to the rain, but donations are always being accepted.

Hope Network was started in 2015 on a small scale, but has expanded significantly in the last two years, said Executive Director Ashley Nichols.

Hope Network is a faith-based transitional housing program for women who are homeless, in recovery, or recently incarcerated.

Hope Network provides housing, transportation, life skills training, and assistance with gaining employment.

Katie Phipps, 42, is among the most recent graduates of the program. Becoming sober after about 15 years of meth addiction, she has her own apartment, a job and vehicle.

Crystal Sams, 29, has been at Hope Network about one month. She is looking for work and although she knows her background might turn away employers, she needs a job. (Read their stories on page 2).

Women in the program stay with Hope Network and receive the services for six months to a year.

"We have seen many women overcome addiction and become successful, productive members of society," said Nichols.

"We have had several women come through the program and then themselves become volunteers to help other women in similar circumstances."

In just the last month, two women graduated from the program, secured their own housing and transportation while maintaining sobriety and restoring relationships with family.

Nichols, who has been executive director two years in February 2024, said many referrals come to Hope Network from the Rutherford County Detention Facility, prison ministries, detox facilities and other community agencies.

"Women can also contact us directly to set up an intake interview when beds are available," she said.

Element Church, located on Broadway Street in Forest City, is a big supporter of the organization and Hope Network also receives support from Calvary Baptist, Floyd's Creek and Bethany Baptist and individuals. (Hope Network was started by Element Church but is now a separate nonprofit organization).

Churches are the primary source of support.

"We want this to be a community-wide ministry and we would love for other churches to partner with us to continue to provide these services and eventually be able to expand the program," Nichols said.

There are 14 women in the program and live in one of three properties operated by Hope Network.

Hope House Coffee Company is one of Hope Network's ministry partners. The coffee shop is a separate nonprofit organization that leverages their profits to assist ministry partners both locally and globally.

On Christmas Day, Hope Network celebrated with a Christmas meal and one of the organization's church partners bought gifts for each woman.

For anyone wishing more information about Hope Network, they can visit our website https://www.hopenetwork.net/ or follow them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/HopeNetworkRC

Read more on page 2.

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