By REBECCA HAZEN
A Hand UP Ministry’s new Hope House in Trenton is open as transitional housing for women going through the faith-based program, which helps people who have recently left the prison system.
The new Hope House Café, part of the Hope House, is open as well. The café is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offers a selection of chicken salads, wraps, pasta sides and desserts.
In addition, items such as t-shirts and coffee mugs are for sale, with plans to add more items. Proceeds help to benefit Hope House and A Hand Up Ministry
“The café is doing well. We don’t even have any signs up yet. We just slowly got started. We are excited about what will come,” A Hand UP founder Rex Mayo said. “Things have been super as far as community help, helping us to get here. There is a lot of people that spent a lot of time and effort here.”
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 and has different phases. The women who are in phase one, which lasts 90 days, work at Hope House Café.
“When we got here, this was just a perfect place, it had the space. We just knew we needed something like this to provide for our girls. The girls here make a commitment here for three months,” Mayo said.
Zoe Hayes, from Summerville, has been in the program for the last two months and is currently working at Hope House Café.
“I had a meth addiction for 10 years. I was in another program, but it was not Christ-centered like this. Since coming here, I have made a new family,” Hayes said.
Hayes noted that she has five kids, and she is working on getting her GED. In addition to going through the Freedom Celebrate Recovery program, she goes to church with the other program members, and she is also learning how to cook and how to sew.
“The café is awesome. It is teaching me time management and it is giving me a work structure environment. We can feel like we are accomplishing something,” Hayes said. “Rex and Tammy are great people. They want to see us make it.”
After 90 days, the women will go on to phase two of the program, where they are able to look for work in the community.
The Hope House is separated into different areas for the women who are going through the phases of the program. For example, all the women in phase one live in the phase one section of the house.
The house features a communal kitchen and dining room, and living rooms for the different phases of the program.
Members of the Trenton Ministry Center had the opportunity to sponsor the decorating of each bedroom.
Mayo noted that there is room in the house for more women, and there is still work to be done.
“Eventually we will fill the whole house up. Right now, we have room for 12. We actually have one girl graduating in February,” Mayo said.
Mayo continued, “We still have to pave the parking lot, and we’d like to get more offices completed. But it’s okay. It’s one thing at a time. We want to do this well.”
For more information, visit ahandupministry.com, or follow them on Facebook, listed as A Hand UP. The Hope House Café is located at 6246 GA-136 and has a Facebook page. Orders can be placed by calling (706) 657-4673.