Sarah’s House: Palmer nonprofit moves to help women find hope and direction
Outside of Anchorage there are limited options for people looking for a place to overcome addiction and homelessness. In Palmer, one nonprofit hopes to make a difference and change the lives of those who stay at “Sarah’s House.”
Connect Palmer is a faith based nonprofit with a successful back-to-work program that helps people find their place in the workforce. More than half of the women who have participated in the program were homeless, according to Connect Palmer founder Sherry Carrington.
So when an apartment above the downtown Palmer office became available the staff got an idea. They transformed it into Sarah’s House, a safe place for up to four women to stay while completing Connect Palmer’s 15-week Program.
“They come in when their needs are tooth paste and shampoo, but in reality they need a change in life. They need to go in a new direction,” Carrington said. “I just love being part of what’s happening to them.”
Those who commit to living at Sarah’s House must follow a strict schedule that involves worship, volunteer work, resume writing and other job skills.
Ashley Jenkins, 21, says she had been on the streets on and off for years and suffered addiction before going to Sarah’s House two months ago.
“I’ve gotten my GED since being here,” Jenkins said. “I got my driver’s permit and I got a job all in a short period of time.”
Amber Bolam, 26, is also staying at Sarah’s House.
“I remember walking in these doors, and being in this house, and thinking ‘oh my gosh, it is just so peaceful compared to the chaos that we are used to,’” Bolam said.
Sarah House’s is named after a little girl that Carrington says she watched grow up and later struggle in life.
She want’s the small apartment above Connect Palmer to be a place where women can find hope, new direction and God.
Rent is $400 dollars a month, which can be sponsored by local churches or other organizations.
Part of Connect Palmer’s back to work program is learning to balance time and money.
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