There aren't balloons and cakes and stuff like that to celebrate the milestone that New Life for Women has attained in 25 years of helping women break lose from addictions, but it is celebrated with daily gratitude that the organization continues to thrive, just like it is with daily fortitude that its graduates continue to live their new lives after leaving here.
Founder Melanie Parks created New Life for Women after needing such a facility herself and finding only one such place in the entire state that was set up specifically for women.
"The only beds for women in Mississippi, in the entire state, were located in Columbus, and there were 12, in the entire state of Mississippi," Parks said.
New Life for Women in Jackson has room for 21 people at a time. And it is practically full, right now. Substance abuse is a devouring disease. Some people may be able to take a drink and walk away, while the next person to do so may end up in treatment, or jail, or dead.
Susan Rushing, a former resident at New Life for Women says, "I came in here without any hope, knew that I was dying, and I knew that if I was going to turn my life around this is where I needed to be."
Melanie Parks adds, "I was putting the pencil to paper last night and looking at numbers and I think we have probably affected minimum seven or eight thousand women lives directly as clients. And you could pretty much double, triple or quadruple that with the children that have gone to Al anon, Ala teen, or Ala tot."
And that means daughters have reunited with parents, wives with husbands, kids retrieved from DHS and returned home to their moms. A lot of healing.
Twenty-five years of healing that would have never happened without New Life for Women filling a treatment void.
Susan remembers, "A lot of tough love in this place, there's a lot of tough love. But love it is and that's what helped me heal."
So it is a silent celebration for the thousands of new lives that have been changed by New Life for Women that has been making a difference for 25 years now.
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