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Helping to turn lives around

Willow Creek House for Women

by: Photo By Ezra Pasikatan - Residential manager Evelyn Plummer outside Willow Creek House for Women in Madras.

Ezra-Mel Pasikatan
   Student Reporter
   Since the Willow Creek House for Women opened its doors in 2005, 19 women have been provided transitional housing while getting help rebuilding their lives.
   The house serves women coming out of many circumstances, such as jail, chemical dependency treatment and emotional or mental exhaustion.
   "Our goal is to help women help themselves turn their lives around so they become successful in life," said Evelyn Plummer, the residential manager of the home.
   "The women have goals here. We have a specialist who meets with the client and helps them agree on some goals," said Plummer.
   "If the individual is truly committed to make life changes, we can provide opportunities so their goals can become reality," said Don Courtney, president of JC Hope Inc., which oversees the home.
   "We try to put some good positive structure back into their lives. Some may not like it, but sometimes we all need others to push or nudge us in the right direction, in other words, hold us accountable," said Courtney. Nudges in the right direction can be assistance with job searches, career development and budgeting.
   "One may ask, `Is it worth it?'" said Courtney "If we can make a difference in one woman's life or her family, then it's worth it."
   The program has successfully helped women rebuild their lives.
   "One lady went to treatment for a month, was here for two months, and was able to go and finish probation with her family. She was able to meet all her goals and leave," said Plummer.
   "One was in a homeless situation before she moved in and is now going to college."
   "Another was able to get her family back together into a home. They're doing well now."
   Most women stay at the home for one to two months.
   Plummer said,"Those who have lived here have enjoyed it -- they just want to move on to their families."
   The house is looking for volunteers to teach the women life skills such as cooking and sewing. If you are interested in sharing your knowledge, call 475-4895.
   Funds for the Willow Creek Home for Women are currently running short. To financially assist the home, a tax-deductible donation may be mailed to: JC Hope Inc., P.O. Box 169, Madras, OR 97741.