“If you are seriously wanting to do better and get your life on track, then this is the program for you,” says Sherena Lemons.
As a resident of Pearl’s Hope, Lemons is speaking from experience. She credits this transitional living program for single women and their children for helping her turn her life around.
“I’ve been in rehab before and went back home, and it didn’t work out,” she explains. “This time, I was in rehab for 14 months, and when I got out, I wanted to go somewhere where it was a little more structured so maybe I wouldn’t relapse again.”
Named for Pearl Opel Thorpe, whose endowment made the program possible, Pearl’s Hope opened in 2008 as a program of Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, a faith-based organization founded in 1917 with a mission of helping children and families in crisis. Located on the Frances E. Willard Ministry Center in Tulsa’s Gilcrease Hills, Pearl’s Hope serves women in Oklahoma who have lost custody of their children to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS).
The program provides a place for the women to live with any children for whom they still have custody for up to 24 months. During that time they work to regain custody of their other children in the OKDHS system and overcome barriers that have prevented them from living independently in the past.
Pearl’s Hope helps these mothers get back on their feet and create a healthy and safe environment for themselves and their family.
For Lemons, this means starting back to school and saving money for her own place. “I have paid off $2,648 worth of debt,” she says. “I have custody of two of my four children, and I see my third son regularly. I have my driver’s license back. I’m in college full time; I’m going to school to be a legal assistant.
“They’ve helped me immensely.”
With the support of Pearl’s Hope, Lemons feels good about her family’s future.
“I will have a good job and be able to take care of my family and not have to depend on anyone. I’ll have independence. That’s my ultimate goal. Independence.”
For more information, visit circleofcare.org.