When Tia Pope first learned about Lindsey House, she was only eight months clean and sober with no clue how to save money. As a Women in Recovery participant, she was trying to overcome financial struggles and retrieve her kids, who were in the care of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
“I needed a safe place to bring my kids home to,” Pope says. That safe place became Lindsey House, an organization that provides women who have children with supportive housing as they transition from homelessness.
The 18-month program teaches life skills, financial literacy and workplace proficiency, all individualized to each woman. What Pope found for her and her two daughters was a network of fellow moms and counselors who believed in her and her children.
“I would get excited as I saw my bank account grow,” Pope says. “When you pay something off, you get to a space that you never thought was possible.”
Pope is one of the 56 graduates of the Lindsey House program, although many more have learned valuable lessons and are active in its alumni program, according to President and CEO Tiffany Egdorf. To help more women and their families, four years ago Lindsey House began a fundraising campaign to build a $6 million facility. On July 6, the 10-year-old nonprofit will open the doors to its new headquarters, which has 24 apartments, group/common areas and office space.
The new facility triples the number of families Lindsey House can help at one time and expands its food and household items pantry, which is available to all alumni.
The average stay is 16 months. Apartment sponsors provide necessary home goods like pots and pans, linens and lamps, and often send cards of support to the women and their children. “It gives them somebody to connect with,” Egdorf says.
As for Pope, she remains close to the organization. In November she was hired as Lindsey House’s office manager. With a history in food service, Pope’s confidence for the role was inspired through the supportive system for which she now works and works to sustain.
“We limit ourselves a lot,” Pope says. “So when you accomplish something you never thought was possible, it’s empowering.”