WARM Hosts Grand Opening for Home for Women, Children

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- More than 25 families with kids in Waynesboro are homeless each year. After years of planning and some road blocks, the Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry's house for women and children has opened its doors.

Two families have moved in already. Organizers expect the remaining spaces to fill up pretty quickly.

People in the community say this home will really make a difference.

"It's just a whole different way when you live your life a different way. And kind of like when you have God, you don't need all that other stuff," said Jennifer Rolen.

Rolen lives in the WARM house. She's part of the House of Mary Discipleship program, which helps women turn their lives around.

"Putting those folks back on their feet, helping them to find the gifts that God has endowed them with to become employed," said Pastor Todd Crowder.

With the ribbon cutting and open house, families with little ones also get the chance to have some stability. Community members celebrated the home, which will house four families at a time.

"This is the beginning, there is such need," said Crowder.

Debra Burns, Director of Development and Client Services, said being able to help families stay off the streets is worth the years it took to see this idea come to life.

"Two moms come in and the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders and a chance for them to breathe and start over, it makes me very emotional," said Burns.

WARM workers believe it's also about getting the support system others have during hard times.

"When I've had hard times with three children and been down out of my luck, there's been times when it's taken me a little bit to bounce back," said Burns.

After months of volunteer work, neighbors say getting involved is another way to help.

"And until you've actually gotten in there and worked with these people, you don't understand," said Crowder.

WARM is now trying to raise $150,000 to pay for the house.

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