OAK GROVE HEIGHTS, AR (KAIT) – Agape House in Greene Countygot an early Christmas present this year.
The group, which helps women battle addiction throughfaith-based programs, learned recently that it received a $10,000 grant fromState Senator Robert Thompson of Paragould.
The money has allowed the Agape House to remodel one of itsgroup homes to better serve the needs of both its staff and the women it'strying to help overcome their problems.
"It's going to be nice for [the women], and it's going to benice for us," said Sunny Curtis, the program's executive director, about theremodeled home. "This is a rewarding job we get to see miracles every day –every single day."
The contractors claim that they will be able to finish allthe upgrades to the group home located in Oak Grove Heights sometime in earlyJanuary. Jody Faulkner, the president of the Agape House board, has put sweatequity into the project, working with a few crew members to complete it.
"The first thing we did was to take things out," he said. "Takeout all the old."
Faulkner said that meant ripping out all the old cabinetsand replacing them with newer, more modern fixtures. Before those were installed,however, the workers ran into a number of issues behind the walls and under thefloors.
"There were a lot of hidden things that we had to fix thatwe didn't know had a problem until we started taking stuff out," Faulkner said."We ran into electrical issues, plumbing issues and flooring issues."
After replacing the flooring and securing the ceiling,Faulkner said the workers removed a wall in the living room to open up thespace, which will serve as a central dining area.
"The $10,000 is fantastic," he said, "but you'll besurprised to find out just how fast that [money] disappears. When we get to theend of this project, we'll still be looking for more private donations thatwill help us finish this project out."
Once the work is done, Curtis said her staff can move theiroffices into the home as well.
"That house was in need of the remodel, so it's going to bevery up-to-date," she said. "A lot of people have been working hard on it, andwe can't wait to get it open back up."
The new dining area will also serve as a classroom for thewomen, like Jessica Lind, who are working to complete the four-month drug rehabilitationprogram.
"[The program] is very helpful," Lind said. "It's veryfaith-building and really once you get your faith good, it tends to make youhave right living because believing right is living right. When you believeright, it's easier to live right."