By REBECCA HAZEN
A Hand UP will turn the former Woodhaven Senior Living facility into transitional housing for women who are going through the program, a faith-based ministry for people who have recently left the prison system.
“We have an agreement to purchase it and it is being worked through the bank. It will probably be 60 days before we close on the property. In the meantime, we’ve got it leased from the owner,” A Hand UP founder Rex Mayo said.
According to Rex, they are in the process of getting appraisals and surveys done on the property.
Mayo did not disclose the price that A Hand UP paid for the property, but he did say that the price was below appraisal, and it was a good price.
“There’s some cosmetic things that need to be done. It’s pretty well known that the air conditioning did not work. But, it wasn’t all of the air conditioning that was out. It wasn’t in total disrepair. It appeared to me that they were doing business right up until the day that they closed the doors,” Mayo said about the facility.
The building will become the main hub of A Hand UP’s women’s program.
People who are a part of A Hand UP go through Freedom Celebrate Recovery, which is a Christ-centered 12-step program. The program lasts 12-18 months so transitional housing is a necessary part of the process.
Mayo noted that it can be difficult to find affordable rental properties, and that if people cannot find housing within a specific time frame, they often go back to jail.
“We have already started, as far as cleaning the place out and starting to do repairs. We hope in 60 to 90 days from now, if everything works together, we could open part of it,” Mayo said.
Mayo continued, “We’re wanting to get away from the nursing home kind of feel and have it become more of a home-type environment.”
The program has just accepted four new women, in addition to a few more women that A Hand UP is already working with.
“It is a large building. It has 10 or 12 bedrooms that could be occupied, but we haven’t tried to put an end number on what we’re looking at,” Mayo said.
There will be some office space in the building as well.
“I would hope that when we get established, that if there are broken men and women in Trenton or Dade County, that we’ll be the first place people will call. I would hope that we would be able to connect them with resources. That’s our dream, that’s our goal, to fix broken families,” Mayo said.
For more information, visit ahandupministry.com, or follow them on Facebook, listed as A Hand UP.