Our church supports Breakthru House, a subsidiary of Action Ministries, a long-term, residential treatment facility for women recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
Breakthru was started in 1969 by St. Mark UMC as an outreach in downtown Atlanta, and it is open to any woman who is 18 years or older regardless of her race, religion, sexual orientation, or income.
Clients live at Breakthru House for six to eighteen months in a family-style environment where they share chores and household responsibilities. During this time, the women progress through a Levels System and participate in the AA 12-Step program.
Therapy groups focus on healing from the past and dealing with a new-found life in sobriety. Women who suffer the demoralizing effects of addiction and homelessness are among the most vulnerable in our community. The hope extended by agencies like Breakthru House can break this cycle of despair and offer clients the hope of self-sufficiency.
Gail W. from Decatur says she owes her life to Breakthru. She was president of the PTA before she lost control of her life to alcoholism.
"I would have to have a drink, at least half a pint, before I went to work each morning," she said. "By lunch time, my hands were shaking. Then as soon as I got off work, before I left the parking lot, I had to have a drink. And this went on for about four years." She is now clean and sober, thanks to Breakthru House.
"It was the hardest thing I had to do but the best decision I ever made," Gail said. "I have to let people know there's hope."
Dunwoody UMC member Jennifer Boettcher is a member of the Breakthru House Women's Advisory Board. "I've never met such strong women," Boettcher said. "I've been inspired by their faith and commitment to change."
During the spring sports season here at Dunwoody UMC, the leisure ministry participants were offered the opportunity to make a team contribution to Breakthru House in honor of their coach and in lieu of a coach's gift. This gift was then matched through a private grant. Thanks to all of the teams that supported this program.
If this ministry touches your heart, there are a variety of ways to volunteer at Breakthru House. These include serving as a tutor, teaching an enrichment class, helping with job readiness skills, or doing yard work at the site. You may also want to participate in a Supper Club. You and your friends can prepare a meal for the clients and exchange encouraging and inspiring stories together.
There is more about these opportunities at www.breakthru.beliefinaction.com. You may also contact Jo Ann Akers at 678-352-8334 to find out how to get involved.
Jo Ann collects grocery coupons for the residents. If you have extra coupons from your Sunday paper, you may leave these in the Breakthru House box located near the twenty30something area.
There are many items that Breakthru House needs on a regular basis. If you would like to donate any of these items, drop them off at the church at Susan Anderson's office.