The sober-living house, located on 5th Avenue in Jasper, opened in September and currently has eight residents. Hankins said she is already seeing positive changes in the women’s lives.
“I knew God wanted me to come do this in Jasper,” Hankins recently told members of the Jasper Rotary Club. “I have followed Him and I’m expecting miracles. I expect a lot from God because this is my hometown. The women that are living in the house are doing great, and that’s what this is all about.”
Hankins describes Hope for Women as a recovery ministry. Hankins is familiar with recovery, because she is a recovery drug addict. After dropping out of high school, Hankins found herself, either homeless, in juvenile detention or suffering through abusive relationships for many years. Throughout that time, she also battled drug and alcohol addictions.
“By the grace of God and a 12-step program, that’s not me anymore,” she said.
Hankins is now a licensed practical nurse, a homeowner and executive director of Hope for Women.
“I’m proud of where God has taken me,” she said.
Hankins has designed Hope for Women as a 3-phase process. She refers to the phases as emergency, transitional and independent.
In the first phase, women live at the Hope for Women house.
“Most of the time, the ladies need time to get things in their life straight,” Hankins said. “They may not be able to work because they have outstanding warrants and things like that. We help them get those things in order before they can move forward.”
During the second phase, the women continue to live at Hope for Women, but they obtain jobs and begin to learn how to live on their own.
While at the home, residents are provided transportation to and from work, receive lessons on independent living skills and are taught relapse prevention measures. Once they have the ability to sustain themselves, they move on to the third phase, which is living independently.
“Even though they are living on their own, they are still required to come back and help at the house,” Hankins said. “It’s good for them to come back and be an example for others.”
Emelil Humphries, who serves as treasurer on the Hope for Women board of directors, said the organization is needed in Walker County.
“A lot of us are affected by drugs and alcohol. I have told people that if they’ve ever been affected in any way that they should send in $5 to help this group,” she said. “If someone has never been affected by drugs or alcohol, they should get down on their hands and knees and thank God. Then they should send $5 too.”
One of Hope for Women’s current residents said the ministry has offered her a second chance.
“This place is already special to me,” she said anonymously. “I’m so thankful that I have been given this opportunity.”
Hope for Women’s board of directors is asking for monetary donations and donations of needed items to help the ministry continue. A letter provided by the group said linens and kitchen items are always needed. A wish list for the group is also available at Walmart and Belk. To mail donations, send them to Hope for Women LLC, P.O. Box 2128, Jasper, AL, 35502. Monetary donations can also be deposited into the group’s account at First Bank of Jasper. For more information, contact Hankins at 205-567-2607.