Friday, January 18, 2013
Deep in the woods of the Yauhannah community in northern Georgetown County is a place where women getting out of jail or prison can seek refuge if they are struggling to free themselves from drug addiction.
Martha’s House has been a dream for Susan Tyler and many others for nearly a decade. By this spring, the dream will be a reality as the new shelter — located off Old Pee Dee Road — will be ready to begin accepting women who need the services.
The non-denominational, Christian-based halfway house for women was dedicated at a special service Saturday but will not be open for women until this spring, Tyler said.
Tyler said when she first began mapping out her mission, she was joined by many including Mary Frances Fraser.
The board of directors now consists of Tyler, Alvilda Meyers, Libby Ellenburg, Susan Mitchell, Linda Porter, Rick Russ, Dixie Tindall and Joe Young.
Tyler said she knows firsthand what the women the ministry will help are going through.
She said “it’s only by the grace of God” she was never in jail but she did spend three decades as a drug addict. At Saturday’s dedication she described Martha’s House as a “life restoration station.”
Initially the home — which was donated as was the 12 acres of land — will be able to house three women but Tyler is hoping to increase the capacity to seven after renovations are made to the facility.
She said Martha’s House will be a place for spiritual healing, a place to learn about Christ and a place where women can become productive members of society.
She said the severity of the crimes committed by the women will not be a determining factor on who can take part in the program.
“We believe everyone can be restored through the blood of Jesus Christ. We will be here for any women who really want to change their lives,” Tyler said.
She said the plans are to create a two-phase program with each phase lasting six months. The first phase will be to deal with the addictions and the second phase will be to help the women find employment.
The ministry is supported through donations, fundraisers and with purchases made by customers at Martha’s House Thrift Store located at 526 South Fraser Street in Georgetown.
Tyler said everything in the house, with the exception of light fixtures and ceiling fans, was donated.
To learn more about Martha’s House, visit their website at www.marthashouseinc.com.
By Scott Harper