WARM Workers, Volunteers Prepare New Home for Women, Kids

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry, also known as WARM, and volunteers are fixing up a home on Fairfax Avenue.

Originally, WARM wanted to open the home toward the end of 2013, but ran into issues closing.

Once they finish renovations, the home will be a place for homeless women and kids.

Volunteers from a local church paint an upstairs bedroom, while others lay mulch in the front yard for a group in need.

"Particularly women with children usually do not have a support network," said Director of Development and Client Services Debra Burns.

Burns says this home will help solve that problem.

"So we're not just going to offer them, a place to stay and a bed to sleep in, but we're gonna offer them mentors and staff and community support to help them regain their independence," said Burns.

Women will stay for about six to eight weeks. Churches have adopted bedrooms, even furnishing one with handmade furniture. Six women are staying at the home right now, as part of the House of Mary Discipleship program. It's a six month program to help turn their lives around.

"I'm a recovering addict and so that has led me back to the penitentiary three times....I've excelled in other programs, but I've never done it this way. And this is the best way. In three months, this is the best place I've ever been," said Jennifer Rolen.

Jennifer Rolen and Mellie Stanley say having stability, work and support is life changing. Rolen and Stanley both work at the "Love of Jesus" Thrift Store and WARM.

"If anybody wants to change their life and wants a different life, and wants to turn it around, this would definitely be the place to get your mind right," said Rolen.

"I have the confidence now that I can actually make it in the world and do better," said Stanley.

Workers hope similar support will help women and kids in the area.

"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 Rolen.

Warm will be launching a capital campaign to raise $150,000 to pay for the house. They've moved the grand opening to at least the end of February.

If you are interested in living in the home or volunteering, call WARM Executive Director Robert Carroll at 804-869-0669. Carroll's email is bobcarroll@usa.com.

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