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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Christian-based recovery center for women opens

 

Last updated 11/21/2023 at 7:03pm

For a decade, volunteers for Vidor's First Baptist Church had a vision of providing a residential home for women who have addictions. The vision is now a reality.

The Women's Care Center is now open in a remodeled nursing home in Vidor. The center's director, Gena Rogers, said 10 rooms are available in the program, which lasts a minimum of six months and can go on for up to a year, if needed.

The residents are not required to work and are able to concentrate on recovery and living in the world sober. Requirements include Bible studies and participation in the center's other programs. Those are 12-step chemical dependency classes, how to prevent relapse, finances and financial responsibility, arts and crafts, plus life skills. Those skills can be fundamental things like making a bed, doing laundry, and cooking.

A current resident is working on her GED and participates in the GOALS (Greater Orange Area Literarcy Services) program.

At this time, the center cannot accept women with mental health issues, or ones with a past history of violence. It is also not a homeless shelter.

Otherwise, there's one big requirement, though. "They have to really want to be in recovery," Rogers said.

The cost for the Women's Care Center program is $100 a week, plus a $500 deposit, that is refundable at the end of the program. The cost covers the furnished room plus dinner each day. Clients are responsible for their own breakfast and lunch.

Rogers said donors may be able to provide the $500 deposit and some scholarships are available.

Each client has a private bedroom, unlike many recovery centers. Rogers said she visited a center in Houston that had 10 women sleeping in the same room in five bunk beds.

Life Groups, previously known as Sunday school classes, at First Baptist Vidor, along with individuals, decorated each bedroom to make it feel welcoming. The decor includes colorful bedding covers on a twin bed with sheets and pillows.

Residents are not allowed to have cell phones or use the internet during their stay. After their first 30 days in the center, they may have approved visitors. They are also required to go to First Baptist Church Vidor.

Besides their daily studies, women at the center have counseling every day and have house chores. Rogers said a night manager and a weekend manager are at the center for the clients. The weekend manager is a recovering addict and has been sober for four years.

The church and private donors are supporting the center. A volunteer is selected to mentor and help each client along her way to sobriety. Also, the church's Main Street Thrift Store at 335 North Main Street in Vidor, allocates 75 percent of its income to the Women's Care Center. Donations of new and used goods are accepted at the thrift store.

Rogers got involved in the recovery center for personal reasons, she said. Her son-in-law was getting out of incarceration and she was seeking help for him to stay on a path of sobriety. While asking around the community, she learned of First Baptist's plan for the women's center.

She got involved and was preparing for retirement. She worked for longtime local lawyer and former district attorney Steve Howard, who is now retired. Knowing of his retirement, she was planning for a new path.

This summer, she was named director of the Women's Care Center. Her work is still personal. Her daughter is an addict and the last they knew, was in Los Angeles. Rogers is raising two granddaughters and is happy their father, her son-in-law, has been sober a few months.

Information on enrolling, volunteering, or donating to the Women's care center can be found at the website wccvidor.org. Applications are online or available by calling 409-498-4007.

 

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