Women's Shelter

Core Program

Core program encompasses the skills needed to begin reentry back into the community successfully.  Focus will rely on obtaining necessary identification documents, insurance, financial literacy, transportation and physical and mental healthcare. The residential guests will create personalized goals and then strive to reach those goals such as attending addiction groups, or substance abuse support groups.  Eventually, they will be working on getting everything lined up so they would be able to move into safe shelter.

Career Program

Career program places emphasis on education and a purposeful career suited to the individuality of each residential guest.  Career Climbers & ServSafe courses are just a couple of ways of residents are able to take part in within this program.  Career Climbers teaches residents not only how to obtain employment, but how to be promoted within their company.  ServSafe course provides the opportunity for each resident who is interested in food-service industry receive the ServSafe Certification.  Within this program they will also be working toward individual goals that they have set for themselves.

Leadership Program

Leadership Program focuses on skills that allow for real-life applications within the personal lives of our residential guests.  Residents who choose this program are striving to grow in leadership, spiritually, and to create a healthy community outside the walls of the shelter.  Classes are offered such attending one of the healing classes to creating community outside of the shelter walls.  This program leads our residential guests to discovering goals and purposes in walking alongside of others.

**Each program also has the opportunities to assist with substance abuse issues by groups that are held at the shelters, and by connecting each resident who struggles with substance abuse with community partners for addiction recovery.

Create in Me a Clean Heart

by Deania, former Open Arms resident


“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.”

That is Psalm 51:10, and it’s my prayer.

Growing up, my father was angry and abusive, physically, mentally, and verbally, especially toward my mother. So as I got older, that’s what I thought “love” was. I also struggled with low self-esteem. I’m a big, shapely girl, and my dad always made me try to hide it. So I always hated how I looked. I’m self-conscious, and I put up with a lot of abuse in my life because I thought that was all I was worth.

I got pregnant at 17 and was forced to marry a man who didn’t want to be a father, a husband, or married to me. I was raped at 21 and had another child. And by my mid-20s, I was a full-blown addict with four kids. I shoplifted and prostituted myself for drugs.

In 2011, I tried to get clean. But then I got involved with another abusive man, and things got really bad. He got me into selling drugs. We lived in an abandoned house with no water or utilities. And he beat me every day. He beat me so bad once, I ended up having seizures and going to the emergency room. The only relief I ever had were the times I went to jail. But that’s where everything finally started to change, too.

I got involved with a jailhouse ministry that surrounded me with love and acceptance I never experienced before. These people believed I could change, and I believed them. So when I got out of jail in the spring of 2016, I came to Open Arms. Here, people didn’t see Deania the drug addict, the prostitute, or the “big girl.” They saw me how Jesus sees me — smart, intelligent, and beautiful. And they hold that mirror up to me every day.

Today, I’m safe, sober, and I’m starting to believe what they see in me. They believe I’m going to make it, and so do I. Because Psalm 51:10 is my prayer. Every day!

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