Crystal Dean had given up on the idea of living a healthy life. Her addiction to heroin had cost her two years of her freedom, the custody of her son, and rehab by itself was not working. She knew she was missing something and that is when she found God and the Jericho House.
“I began using heroin in 2007. I had never been in trouble before but ended up going to prison for two years. I became angry and wanted to rebel. I knew I needed God in my life and ended up here.. The first three months I lived in the Jericho House, I was just going through the motions and did not really want to be here. I knew if I left, though, that I would go back to using. I persevered and by the fourth month in the house, I was completely committed to the program. I am happier than I have ever been and my life is changing for the better,” Dean said.
Through the assistance of Rev. Margie and John Maddox, the founders of the Jericho House, Dean enrolled in college, something she never thought she could or would do.
“I am attending classes to earn my degree in computer networking and even though I have been to prison, I was able to be hired at the (North Central State College) Success Center here in town as a part-time secretary. I am so grateful they are giving me that one chance to prove myself in spite of my history. That is all anyone needs is that one opportunity,” Dean said.
Dean has lived at the Jericho House since May and is now the house manager.
Margie said a new addition to the building is currently being added on but funds are needed to complete the project.
“We are going to use the space for apartment-style living which will include visitations the women have with their children,” Margie said.
Margie said one of the first graduates of the Jericho House program failed after she returned home to an unstable situation.
“If she would have been out on her own with her children, I think she would have done much better. We realized at that point that we need to create a readiness program for the women and utilize local resources such as the PIPP program at Community Action to assist them in securing their own housing before they leave the Jericho House,” Margie said. “The new part of the building will be used for that purpose and will also have an exercise room for all of the women to use.”
The curriculum at the Jericho House includes Margie’s program, the Alpha 12-Step Recovery Program. The program focuses on accountability, which requires each person to attend 90 meetings in 90 days; responsibility which means the person has to follow all rules of conduct, ethics and policies set by the program along with completing all homework assignments; core values which includes being honest and willing to commit to obtaining and maintaining sobriety, and morals, which means each participate must conduct themselves in a professional and moral manner.
All individuals enrolled in the Alpha Recovery Program must attend at least 30 hours of addiction and recovery classes and volunteer at least 80 hours in the community. The program is utilized by the Crawford County Court system as an intense intervention program and is based on the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model that includes breaking free by increasing knowledge of people skills, finance and parenting; relapse prevention therapy, cognitive restructuring for addiction, behavior modification including anger management and completing the modified 12-step program.
Dean is in place to become the first woman to begin living in the readiness portion of the house.
“It is my goal to be living on my own with my 8-year-old son by December,” Dean said. “I want that for him as a Christmas present because that is all he wants is to live with me. And I want that so much for the both of us.”
Heather Howlett also currently lives at Jericho House and will be the next in line to become the house manager when Dean moves to the new section of the house.
“I will be helping the girls coming into the house,” said Howlett.
Dean is in the process of taking chaplaincy classes.
“I feel it is the next step in my journey,” Dean said. “I now know God has plans for my future.”
The Jericho House operates on donations from local individuals, businesses, churches and grants.
“We have received some amazing donations for the parking lot and the new building but still need more to complete the building. We feel it is so important to start the readiness program as soon as possible and we hope to have the building complete very soon,” Margie said.
For more information, call Margie and John Maddox at 419-689-1412 or visit http://www.alpha12step.com. The Jericho House is located at 816 N. Sandusky Ave.
Connect with Gasuras on Twitter @kimberlygasuras
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