PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Drug abuse is a serious problem in the US among both men and women. It's estimated more than 9 million women use illegal drugs every year. An organization in Pearl River County is giving some of those women a new start.
A daily devotion kicks off each day at Jacob's Well Recovery Center in the Millard Community.
"As soon as I find out one of you ladies are coming in, I say, 'Lord please help me see what you see.' Because if I saw what the world sees, you'd have labels all over you," said Susan Brogan.
Once the devotion ends, 'work call' begins. The recovering addicts are assigned their duties for the day.
"Wanda is the store manager and Naomi is her back up," said Mr. Hayaes as he read those names from a piece of paper.
Jacob's Well runs five thrift stores that play a major role in the women's recovery process. WLOX News visited the one in Poplarville.
"We're so glad you came and we appreciate you supporting our ministry," said Julie Keene, a store cashier.
"Ya'll have a ministry?" asked one customer.
"Yes ma'am," Keene replied. "We're a recovery center for women, so every dollar that you spend here goes back into our ministry."
Julie Keene will graduate from the six month recovery program next month.
"The majority of my addiction, which lasted for the last 20 years, I was addicted to crack cocaine," she said.
Keene is a college graduate with a marketing degree. She said when she came to Jacob's Well, she had hit rock bottom. She lost her children, became homeless, and was living on the streets.
"Nearly died while I was out there just struggling, then I was able to walk across the threshold. Now it's helped me. Since I got here, I have a head and heart connection to the God of the universe. I'm where I'm supposed to be. I know where I came from and where I belong. The Lord has really blessed me with gifts I didn't even know I had," explained Keene.
It's stories like this that keep volunteers coming back every day to help these women get their lives on track.
The recovery program which boasts a 75-percent success rate was founded and is still run by a single family. Family members say it was born out of the addictions of the patriarch of the family. Tune in Sunday to WLOX News at 10pm to hear that story.