Prior to my Light House residency….
Less than 7 months ago, I was lost in the “sea of life after prison” I had served 4 years in PA Department Of Corrections (DOC). One year of that time was served in a Community Corrections Center (CCC) (A.K.A. Halfway House) in Harrisburg. I paroled from there to my home town and a family owned apartment. My accountability group was my family… period that’s it. In less than 5 months I was dating a drug dealer, quit going to my family’s church, and dangerously close to catching a new charge. That is where I was less than 7 months ago …before I came to the Light House.
How did I know about the Light House?
When I was in the CCC in Harrisburg, I attended a church for about a month. Through that church, I was connected with a community service project that was required by DOC. That project was to make ready the Lighthouse, a home for women coming out of prison or other situations. Little did I know that I would need the Lighthouse less than 2 years later.
What is the Light House?
The Light House is a half – row-house, NOT a halfway house. The director, my friend and confidante, Pat Paxton, lives in the first floor apartment. The second floor is two more apartments and the third floor is one apartment with two private, locked bedrooms. The home is peaceful, private, and neatly decorated and furnished.
How does the Light House work?
A(application) A (a church) A(action plan). During the AAA process, through a meeting or two, your individual needs and goals are established and addressed with an action plan. Your success is hinged on your level of commitment because the Lighthouse is absolutely committed to your success – spiritually, physically, and financially.
The Lighthouse collaborates with probation and parole for the sake of credibility. At first that was intimidating to me until I realized what that meant. It simply meant that my support team now had Bibles and handcuffs. The Lighthouse has a relationship established with county probation and state parole in that they know who the Lighthouse is and what games they do not play. The Lighthouse is here to help women, not send them back.
As a client in other programs, it seemed that those who facilitated them soon became locked into a regiment of paperwork. Various evaluations were required for participants that were for the sake of grant monies. That’s why the Lighthouse is different. It is a true ministry for women operating through freedom in Christ. It is evident that the Spirit of God is at work here that Spirit should continue.
How has the Light House helped me?
I now have an accountability group that is not exclusively my family. Through my church, I am involved in two cell groups that meet through the week; I have new meaningful and real friendships invested in relationship with Christ.
I have also severed the ungodly relationships that were taking me backward. After my release, I had slowly become connected with all my “old friends” and some new ones that were not good. I know if I had continued that way, a halfway house or prison was my next move. But the Lighthouse provided an alternative for me. While it was hard for me to sever those relationships, the Light House provided other resources to filling those uncomfortable voids. They truly understood my struggle. Here are just a few of the resources that I have personally experienced and grown from as a result of the Light House:
I doubt that I have yet realized the full benefit of the Lighthouse to me. I just know that I am thankful today that I came here – or was led here? I am thankful for those who have prayed for me, believing that God could bring it to pass. One of those is my father who died suddenly one month after I moved into the Lighthouse. This has been a divine appointment for me and I know it from the depths of my heart and soul.
Thank You Jesus.