HOUSE OF HOPE: Adult/Teen Center a dream come true for Poes

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mary Jane Poe was driving down Main Street in Brundidge and her gaze fixated on a vacant house she had passed without notice dozens of times before.

That was the beginning of what is now a dream come true for Mary Jane and Bobby Poe.

The house that stood empty with seemingly no purpose is now a House of Hope for adult women who are on the brink of returning to lives fully lived after struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.

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The Brundidge couple purchased the house on the corner of South Main and Lee streets and have made it available for an Adult/Teen Challenge facility that will primarily be a transition home for up to 10 women ages 18 and older.

“Mary Jane and I have a heart for this,” Poe said. “A member of our immediate family has been dealing with drug addition all his adult life. We don’t want other families to have to go through what we’ve been through – what we are still going through. So in buying the house, we stepped out in faith, hoping to help those who are in similar situations.”

The women at the Adult/Teen Challenge facility in Brundidge will have successfully completed the Teen Challenge program at another facility but are not ready to transition into a community setting. There will be no specified amount of time that each woman will remain at the Brundidge facility, Poe said.

Adult/Teen Challenge is a faith-based program that provides counseling, a disciplined environment, teaching, recreation and job-skills training as women find the help they need to complete what they started out to do – to get free of substances and become all that God intended for them to be.

“Adult/Teen Challenge has a high success rate,” Poe said. “From 75 to 80 percent of those who successfully complete the recovery program remain free of their addictions after five years. The goal of Adult/Teen Challenge is for those who complete the program to transition into their communities as independent and contributing citizens.”

The Brundidge facility will be directed by Tracy Schenck, who is a Teen Challenge graduate.

“Most of the facility directors are graduates of the program,” Poe said. “They have remained drug free and have been employed in their communities. Tracy was employed at the Troy Recreation Center, so she knows the local community and will live at the facility with the women in the recovery program.”

And, it was not just happenstance that Bobby and Mary Jane Poe and Tracy Schenck are involved in the fruitful efforts to open an Adult/Teen Challenge facility in Brundidge.

Just as the house at 305 South Main Street caught the eye of Mary Jane Poe, it also attracted the interest of Tracy Schenck.

“Tracy saw the house as a transition center of this type,” Poe said. “She contacted Teen Challenge and they put us together. None of us saw the end to this. We stepped out in faith believing God was going to do something with what we had on our hearts.”

What God has placed on their hearts was a House of Hope for those who are putting their lives back together after struggling free from addictions.

“What Mary Jane and I have learned through all of this is that if you will make that first step, others will come along,” Poe said. “So many people have approached us wanting to help and others have come seeking advice and help for those in their families who are bound by addictions.

“There’s a measure of shame associated with addictions. Families exist in the shadow of shame and are, therefore, unable to get the help their loved one needs. When there is a visible presence, recovery is possible. ‘Help’ carries us through tough times and Adult/Teen Challenge is providing help to those who are willing to reach out.

“The house at 305 South Main Street will be a House of Hope for women who have come though an addiction recovery program and are making ready to live meaningful and productive lives.”

An account has been set up for those who would like to support the Adult/Teen Challenge program and House of Hope in Brundidge at Troy Bank & Trust branch locations. Make checks to Tennille United Methodist Church/Adult/Teen Challenge, Brundidge.