HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The mission of the New Futures, Inc. Family Lodge in Huntsville is helping families in crisis.
Darrell Thompson nominated Jerilyn Johsnon. Thompson had great things to say about her in his email. It reads, in part:
"Ms. Johnson has dedicated her time, money, and energy to meet each and every need and still finds time to go to school and work a full time job."
WHNT NEWS 19 toured the lodge and paid it forward to the hard working Jerilyn Johnson. Since 2011, the New Futures, Inc. Family Lodge has been a place for people in need to hit the restart button in life. In some cases, like single fathers or mothers with boys over the age of 12, it's the only option.
"Really within a 150 mile radius, unfortunately," describes Johnson.
Local churches sponsor the rooms that people stay in. Executive Director Jerilyn Johnson wants to be clear - they don't do handouts. They teach people how to sustain themselves.
"We want to broaden their horizon," explains Johnson. "We help them to see beyond maybe what they've seen their whole life and see that there's another side. We increase education and their training. "
In addition to a safe place that doesn't force families to separate, New Futures, Inc. offers support services like financial literacy classes, tutors for children and job placement.
"How to make a budget and how to follow that budget," describes Johnson. "How to make a menu to follow that budget. Then we talk about GED. Eighty-five to 90 percent do not have a high school education completed."
There is no rent. Volunteers run the place, which is supported solely by donations. Adding $319 in cash helps.
"Oh wow!" shouts Johnson. "Thank you! That is amazing!"
The money can cover the costs for job placement testing, internet service, house supplies or something as simple as an I.D.
"This represents quite a bit," says Johnson. "It costs $23.50 to get an I.D., so if you look at just the $300, that covers a lot."
New Futures, Inc. is always in need of in-kind donations of services or property too. If you want more information, click here.