Closings & Delays across the Tennessee Valley

Nonprofit creates transitional housing unit for women getting back on their feet

MADISON COUNTY, Ala - Sometimes in life, we get knocked down. And some people have a hard time getting back on their feet.

A nonprofit is looking to help women who are fighting that battle. Fresh Start Life Recovery currently connects victims of human trafficking as well as former exotic dancers and prostitutes to counseling services.

And now the nonprofit is getting ready to open a home in Madison County to provide transitional housing for women.

This building housed a daycare for 28 years. The owner was going to turn it into an antique mall when she was approached by a pastor. He was looking for a building to become home for Fresh Start's transitional housing unit.

"When they started talking to me about it could help kids and moms, and I'm all about kids, it was just time to say let's do it," the building's owner Debbie Moore said.

Tracy Gibson is the executive director of Fresh Start Life Recovery. She believes this facility will to fill a gap in the community. The transitional program will last a year.

"We have a lot of homeless shelters in the area and we do have the family service center that works with a few families to help them get into some apartments. There's a major gap for transitional housing and its mostly because the government has cut a lot of funding for transitional housing, and so what we have done as a social service agency, we`ve done our research to see that there is a need for moms that need reunification from DHR they need a transitional place to stay," she said.

"Right now there is nothing like this available. Right now we have to take the girls to Atlanta, to Birmingham, or to Anniston, and they have limited beds," Mary Magdalene Ministries executive director Angie Keller said.

The nonprofit has partnered with Mary Magdalene Ministries, which works with women getting out of the adult entertainment industry.

"When we get a dancer out she often has a drug problem because when they go in they're offered either heroin or cocaine," she said.

The goal is to empower women to change their lives. The 7,000 square foot facility is going to offer housing, a salon and life skills training.

"We'll have on-site job training but well have other basic living skill training in this room," Gibson pointed out. It will be able to host 10-15 women and their families.

They hope to open the doors to the facility in September.

The nonprofit is going to hold an event to provide more information about the facility August 11th at 9 in the morning. That will be held at Christmas Charities Year Round in Huntsville.