Addiction can be one of the most difficult challenges a person can overcome, but the Women’s Dream Center in Clarksville, which opens Monday, will help local women face that challenge head on.
Modeled after the Texas Dream Center for men in Deport, the Clarksville center, at 1396 Highway 82 West, will follow in its sibling facility’s footsteps and help women overcome addiction with a faith-based curriculum that utilizes both religious lessons and readings on understanding addiction.
“A lot of the time, they don’t just have addiction, but have a multitude of problems, and our goal is to address it all,” said Rev. Ray Evers, who serves as the center’s administrator, along with his wife, Pat.
“We want them to have an encounter with the Lord, and we want them to learn it’s not just a book to read but something to apply to their life. We want them to welcome Christ into their life.”
The daily schedule for residents of the center will include devotions, quiet reading time, guided classes and more, Pat Evers said.
Lessons provided will include cooking classes, parenting classes for mothers going through the program and classes on job hunting, Pat Evers said.
“We actually have people who are going to be coming in and teaching those classes on a number of different topics,” she said.
In addition to the curriculum, women in the center will also be responsible for keeping their living space clean and various other chores.
In the afternoons, women will have a bit more free time, and have time to go to any medical or other appointments they have scheduled.
The program requires a minimum of one year, with a six-month aftercare that includes follow-up and classes. After two months, residents will get a part-time job, and after six months in the program, residents will be able to take a full-time job if they’re doing well, Ray Evers said.
“We want to help them realize the triggers that could cause them to relapse and teach them how to avoid it,” he said. “We want to help them get back into life but supervise them.”
The center will work closely with Child Protective Services in cases where the woman is a mother, Ray Evers said.
“The ultimate goal is to get her help so she can eventually be reunited with the child,” he said.
And though there won’t be any contact between members of the men’s program and women’s program, he said they’re also planning for situations where husbands and wives go through the programs together, so they can still see each other over their year-long stay.
There are already area women lining up to take part in the program, and when the center opens on Monday it will welcome four residents.
Though originally not planning to expand services beyond what’s offered at the center in Deport, Pat Evers said they began considering the possibility of opening a women’s center after several people in the program in Deport asked if their wives or girlfriends could go through the program too.
The building, which had previously served as a church, was donated to the Texas Dream Center. Though it hadn’t sat vacant for very long, Pat Evers said it nevertheless needed some extensive renovations before it was ready to open.
New flooring was put down, paneling was removed, bathrooms were worked on, utilities were updated, much of the facility was repainted, walls were added and several other renovations took place over the past year and a half, Pat Evers said.
Balancing the work to get the women’s center open while managing the men’s center in Deport has been hectic, to say the least.
“We’ve been wearing roller skates,” she said with a laugh. “It’s been a lot of juggling, but it feels good that it’s all paid off now.”
The center is in need of additional volunteers, mostly to serve as drivers to take residents to jobs and appointments.
“A lot of people need to be taken to medical appointments, court dates and other things like that, so we’ll definitely need drivers,” Pat Evers said.
Women who want to take part in the program can submit an application at dreamcentertexas.com.
“We’re excited to get things started so we can help these women overcome their demons and get back on their feet,” Ray Evers said.
“When you see a life that is destroyed, and they think there’s no hope, and to see them get hope again over a period of time, it’s exciting.”