State Representative Sandy Hamilton (R-Springfield) was provided a tour of the new women’s shelter and support program called Wooden It Be Lovely. The home, established in January of 2021 as a non-profit, is for women who are in recovery and will house and employ them while they get back on their feet.
“Springfield has some great resources for women with children, but this new home fills a void for the women who need support and help, but do not have children or do not currently have custody of their children,” said Rep. Sandy Hamilton. “In just the first year and a half, they have 100 percent of their associates in recovery from drugs and alcohol, 75 percent success rate in their summer GED mentoring program and several women taking college courses. We know that having an education changes the trajectory of a person’s life and their potential for success.”
Wooden It Be Lovely is a non-profit social enterprise designed to give women in need unique and empowering employment and enriching relationships. This ministry was founded by Douglas Avenue Unite Methodist Church and is based on the premise that the Christian Gospels make it abundantly clear that Jesus calls us to care for the poor and others who are marginalized.
At Wooden It Be Lovely, the women refurbish furniture and sew unique products to sell to the community. They hired 16 women in 2021.
Intended for women recovering from abuse, addiction and poverty, they are working to change the lives of mothers and children in our community who need our love and support.
They are providing transitional employment, mentoring, recovery tools, education, community networking, and a safe community. The women are employed to refurbish and sell donated wooden furniture and sew unique products. This program empowers women to move towards economic stability and an enhanced well-being for themselves and their children.
This residential housing program provides a safe sanctuary for women to heal.
Rev. Margaret Ann Jessup is the Executive Director and Pastor with a 14-member Board of Directors made up of community and business volunteers.
Their program motto is: Hope, Strength, and Love:
Hope in God and the future through the support of the church and community.
Strength through employment and job skills, recovery tools, parenting support and education, financial guidance and friendships.
Love for all people, unconditionally through life’s transitions.
The home is more than a shelter housing program. It is a home based on trust, accountability and respect. The women live for free as they work on their healing. The women who live there will work at Wooden It Be Lovely with a large portion of their income place in a savings program for when they are ready for independent life.