FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. (KNWA/KFTA) — Morning at the Magdalene Serenity House starts with mediation.
Eight women will spend two years inside the house, at no cost.
Exec. Director April Bachrodt helped bring this service to Northwest Arkansas.
“They have been through experiences that you and I could probably not even imagine,” Bachrodt said.
The idea behind the house started as a ministry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Church members would visit a women’s prison, and listen to their stories. They were touched after hearing how the women wanted to change but felt like they didn’t have the support.
“We wanted to be part of the solution so that when women were released from prison, they did have a safe place to go to where they could continue that lifelong recovery and healing,” Bachrodt said.
Sophia Dugwyler was one of the first women to complete the program.
“I started using drugs and alcohol from a very early age before long they pretty much consumed my whole life,” Dugwyler said.
Dugwyler found herself in a cycle, serve time, get out, and eventually end up back in the place that kept her away from her son.
“I’ve gone back to prison three times because again – I don’t know how to change my behaviors, my entire life in a way that would’ve supported my recovery,” Dugwyler said.
It was in prison when she learned about Magdalene Serenity House. She got accepted into the program and now works for them as a peer recovery specialist.
“To get to celebrate all of their achievements and success and to see that on a daily basis has really helped my recovery,” Dugwyler said.
Bachrodt says this is just the beginning of their work. They recently purchased another home that’ll help women who’ve graduated from the program but still need some support before being on their own.
“We also want to show them that they are worth a beautiful home because if you’ve never seen it, If you’ve never felt it before, it’s hard to believe that you are worth that,” Bachrodt said.
A mission that’ll continue to make a house feel more like a home,
The Rebuilding Her event will take place on Thurs., Sept. 29 at The Bailey Center at Mount Sequoyah.