JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A pair of Region 8 residents opened their hearts and changed the life of another person forever.
Pediatrician Dr. Robert Hornbeck and his wife, Vicki, called Cathy Frans, the executive director of the Reclamation House in Jonesboro.
Frans said the phone call was exciting and unexpected.
"I was contacted this weekend from a pediatrician and his wife here in town," Frans said. "They decided to donate a 2003 Honda. They asked that we give it to one of our residents that have graduated and is staying here in town. They wanted this car to be a blessing to someone else."
Frans said she had already been trying to figure out how to get transportation for one of their new graduates.
"It was amazing," She said. "I had already been thinking about a car for Jenelle and had been looking because we stay with them completely through the program and afterwards. Janelle is living here in town and actually just about a block away from me. And so, I'm keeping an eye on her. And she's working the program. She's doing everything she's supposed to do. Her employer says she's doing absolutely great. I know she's continuing with her program and mental health. So, I can't think of anyone more deserving right now."
Jenelle Benjamin recently graduated from the Reclamation House program.
Benjamin's main form of transportation to and from work has been a bike.
"Here in Jonesboro," Benjamin said. "They do have a bus system, but it doesn't run all the time. This not only makes it able for me to get to work, but just to do everyday things. Without a vehicle, it takes a lot more time and effort. Especially, in the heat."
Benjamin said she was shocked when Frans called her with the news.
"I was just real excited," Benjamin said. "It came out of the blue. I had completely accepted the fact that I was going to be riding my bike and the bus to work and that was fine with me. When Cathy texted me about the car, I was amazed at how blessed I am. It's also my one year anniversary for my "clean" date. So, it was just amazing to me that it would happen at the perfect time. And I felt just really blessed that someone in the community would even think of me and the Reclamation House when they could have easily sold the car."
Dr. Hornbeck and his wife dropped off the vehicle at the Reclamation House around noon on Friday.
Benjamin teared up and hugged the Hornbeck family when they handed her the keys to her very own car.
"I just really appreciate them thinking about me and thinking about the Reclamation House," Benjamin said. "The Reclamation House has given me a whole new chance at life. Before I came here I was in prison. I had become a felon. I had no family support and no real friends or job. I had no home. If I hadn't been accepted into the Reclamation House I would've gotten out of prison and right back into the situation I came from. The Reclamation House has given me self-confidence and has made me feel I have people who really believe in me and want me to succeed. I know if I ever need anything I can come here. There are twenty-five women here who are going to do whatever they can to make sure I'm alright. It's given me my entire life back. And it's given me hope."
Frans said there is a huge need for the service they provide.
"We are a twenty be facility," Frans said. "There's only 30 beds state licensed in Arkansas for women. So, there is a huge need. These women do need a place where they can feel safe. What we teach here is normalcy. We teach grocery shopping, how to have a sit-down dinner, couponing, and gardening. We also facilitate mental health services."
Frans said it's about turning lives around for the better.
"What we're doing here is making a difference," Frans said. "I see it every day with the blessing we've been given. Just to see from day one when these ladies come in with absolutely nothing. Then by the time they leave, their shoulders are up, their eyes are open and they're embracing their life and the community that has been there for them."
Frans said once someone is in their program, they get a permanent support group.
"Basically, we're a family. And it doesn't end when they leave this house. It continues for as long as you need us."
Frans said they currently have a full house of ladies getting help.
For more information about the Reclamation House, click here.
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