CORNING, AR (KAIT) - Corning residents originally were concerned about having an Agape House in their neighborhood, but since they've moved in, they've had no problems.
"Bunch of good ladies! Yes! We wave at them and they talk to us," said one Corning resident. "You couldn't ask for a better neighbor."
The Agape House first opened its doors in 2005 when Executive Director Sunny Curtis moved the organization into a small Paragould house that could only fit 10 women.
Two short years later, they expanded to a larger home in Oak Grove.
Then in 2012, they added a second home in Oak Grove, along with a "step down" house in Paragould.
Once again in 2013, they bought a home in Corning to help more women.
Now, the Agape House is expanding once again to the First Assembly of God Church located on Kenmore Street in Corning.
This new purchase has allowed the Agape House to expand to help more women spiritually, physically, and mentally.
"The Agape House program addresses every area of their lives, like I said first we're meeting their spiritual needs, because if you don't have Christ in your life, you're not going to be able have anything anyways," said Curtis. "And then helping them with the physical get through the cravings for the drugs, and things like that and we got to have some teaching so that they don't go back to that lifestyle."
Nearly 11 years ago, the Agape House sprang into action to get more women with addictions out of their dangerous lifestyles and into faith.
With that goal, it has changed many lives.
"If I had not come to the Agape House I know that I would be in a worse place," said Erica Byes, graduate of the Agape House. "I would even be in jail, maybe in prison. I wouldn't have my family, I wouldn't have my son. I wouldn't know about God."
Byes is one of many who has been a part of the Agape House.
With her battle with drugs, having her 5-year-old son taken away, and being arrested at the age of 26, her grandmother is the one who convinced her to seek help from the organization.
Since then, she says she has been doing just fine.
"I have two jobs that I work. I am dependable. I've had those jobs for nearly a year. God in my life is amazing," said Byes. "He shows out every day in my life."
She also has her son back who is now seven and is loving the new and improved relationship he has with his mother.
"We have the most awesome relationship, he'll tell me 'Mom, I don't like the way you used to be, but I love the way you are now,'" said Byes.
Curtis says this church will allow for more women struggling with addiction to come in and allow the Agape House to reform their lives like Byes.
If you would like to help the Agape House in their expansion plans, you can call them at their main office in Oak Grove at (870) 586-0314.
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