Recently-opened residential facility already near capacity

Staff and residents of Remnant Ministries are shown in front of the house they live in located north of Huntington. Pictured are (front row from left) residents Amanda Hayslip and Katie Blackstone and Director Jessica Brooks; (second row from left) House Manager Jan Baggett and Assistant Director Krista Rohrabaugh; and (back row from left) residents Lauren Kellerman and Brittany Davis.
Staff and residents of Remnant Ministries are shown in front of the house they live in located north of Huntington. Pictured are (front row from left) residents Amanda Hayslip and Katie Blackstone and Director Jessica Brooks; (second row from left) House Manager Jan Baggett and Assistant Director Krista Rohrabaugh; and (back row from left) residents Lauren Kellerman and Brittany Davis. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

A recently-opened residential ministry – modeled after one already    in operation in Huntington – is already near capacity, as young women struggling to overcome the throes of opioid addiction find their recovery grounded in faith.

It’s called The Remnant Ministries, a program that Director Jessica Brooks knows well, having come from a similar ministry operated in Huntington by the Dream Center. Located north of Huntington near Ind.-5 and Ind.-114, the spacious, four-bedroom house is home to six women “disciples” under Brooks’ guidance as they get their lives back together. It’s a process that can last as long as 18 months, she says.

“We had had a waiting list for quite some time,” Brooks explains, “so I just simply left there (the Dream Center) so that we could expand. We’re not affiliated at all, but the program that I was running there, we’re doing the same thing here.”

Brooks attended a program called Radical Restoration Ministries in Florida when she was struggling with addiction and met Dawn Knighton Adkins, author of “Radical Restoration: The Dawn Knighton Story.” Adkins attended The Remnant Ministries’ open house on Nov. 30, officially kicking off the 12- to 18-month faith-based program to set women free.

Krista Rohrabaugh is on staff as the assistant director, and Jan Baggett, the house manager, resides in the home with the women, providing a safe environment where they can focus on their relationship with God and allow him to break their chains of addiction. She says women at Remnant Ministries have hope of a new life apart from drugs.
“I found freedom – total freedom – when I went through the program at the Dream Center,” Rohrabaugh recalls. “I was in a spot that I thought I could never get out of. I felt totally unworthy and so ashamed of what I had done that I felt like I could never get out. But through the program I found complete freedom in Jesus … and ever since then I’ve just had such a passion to help other women who have been there and felt the way that I felt.”

There are four phases to the program. The first phase, a 30-day “blackout” period, prohibits the residents from having any visitors or phone calls.

“We just focus on intense healing and counseling in that time,” Brooks says.
After 30 days, in the second phase the disciples can begin to receive visitors. At 90 days, they are allowed to get a job.

In the third phase, the women can have a vehicle and more privileges as they take back control over their lives. They may also transition out of the program during this phase, as they reach their goals.
The fourth and final phase, called “Emerging Leaders,” gives them the opportunity to become a leader in the program if they desire, serving as a role model and mentor to the newer disciples.

“They can either choose to stay here or they can transition out,” Brooks adds.

Each woman also takes classes with Covenant Bible and Seminary, as they learn to grow their faith and strengthen their character as a Christian. During their class sessions, the women also take GED classes if they need them and learn practical skills relating to skills they will need once they transition back into the world.

“We do etiquette classes,” Brooks says. “We have cooking classes, life skills classes, parenting classes. We have budgeting classes, inner healing counseling and exercise classes.”

To be admitted to The Remnant Ministries, prospective clients go through an interview process to see if they will be a good fit for the program. It’s often about more than just a second chance.

“We can make thatprocess happen pretty fast,” Brooks says. “A lot of times when you’re in a spot when you need to come in here it does need to happen fast. The court system works with us well. We actually have a girl who is sentenced here now to complete our program instead of going to prison for eight years. We’re excited to be able to work with the courts and offer a place for women … We just really focus on whatever specific need that woman has.”

“Girls that never had a driver’s license before, we help them study, take the test and get their driver’s license,” Baggett adds. “(We help them) get a job, save up, and get a vehicle.”

The staff also works with the Department of Child Services in cases where women have children. The property also has a separate building – stocked with toys – in which family visits can be made to give them privacy and space.

There are six women who currently live in the house, with room for as many as eight. Some have been referred by the court as part of their sentencing. Others have chosen to enter the program voluntarily. Despite the rules and restrictions, all say they are happy to be there.

One of them, Brittany Davis, says she has been in the “system” since she was 16 and has been jailed 25 times.

“I got into addiction and was stuck in that for eight or nine years. I was completely lost. I lost my family, lost my daughter. I had nothing; I just lost all hope,” she recalls. “God has helped me through all that. God is slowly restoring my family, slowly restoring my relationships that I thought would never be restored. It’s a great opportunity.”

The Remnant Ministries relies on fees for its program and donations to keep it going. One opportunity to help is coming up on Monday, Jan. 14, with an auction taking place at the Warren United Church of Christ, 202 E. 2nd St., Warren. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the live auction begins at 7 p.m. A silent auction will be held at the same time and food will also be served for a donation.

Brooks says the ministry is also seeking women who can serve as role models and mentor the young women in the program. Other people are needed to conduct classes such as cooking and sewing. A volunteer event is being planned at the residence on Feb. 9, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

“We’re just here to help people. We want women in addiction to know that they are not too far gone; there is a place that they can come if they want to learn another life,” she says. “We’ve all been through it and we we’ve found freedom and our lives and families are being restored and we just want to offer that to other women.”

The Remnant House has a board of directors and is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, but is not connected to any one denomination and does not receive government funding. More information about the ministry can be found on the ministry’s website, theremnantministries.org, on their Facebook page, or by calling 388-6020.