Grace Centers opens facility for homeless women, kids
Pontiac — Before Miranda Glascock was dropped off at Grace Centers of Hope seven years ago she felt like giving up on life.
The 26-year-old Brighton resident started using prescription drugs and smoking marijuana at the age of 12, then began using heroin at 16. After finding herself in drug houses and being raped and beaten countless times, her mother took her to the only place she knew that could give her daughter the help she needed.
“I was given the skills and tools that I needed to be successful in life,” Glascock said. “They didn’t give up on me. They loved on me and invested time in me.”
To help women, such as Glascock, Grace Centers of Hope celebrated Wednesday the grand opening of its renovated William A. Davis Women and Children’s Center on North Perry, formerly the Grace Gospel Fellowship Church. The expansion will make the facility the largest center for homeless women and children in Michigan.
The three-level, 22,000 square foot facility will have 106 transitional beds in 25 semi-private rooms, laundry facilities, dining room, commercial kitchen, exercise room, a boutique with gently used clothing, seven bathrooms, including 10 individual showers and three bathtubs, 10 offices, make-up counters with built-in hair dryers, a classroom and a group learning center.
Pamela Clark, director of the women’s program, became emotional when talking about the importance of new center.
“We don’t have to turn away as many women now. Women that are going through emergency traumas or have had situations that have spiraled out of control, we have more space to help them now,” Clark said. “We help give stability and a second chance at life and society.”
Last year, Grace Centers had to turn away 8,500 women and children, and the facility has a waiting list of 30 to 90 days. It is able to help roughly 200 women and children at a time.
Last year, more than 26,000 individuals were homeless in southeast Michigan, with women and children making up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. homeless population, according to the National Coalition Against Homelessness.
While $4.2 million has been raised for the renovation of the center, $1.6 million is still needed for operating costs, officials said.
Solely through corporate and private donors, Grace Centers offers two programs to new residents: 30 days of emergency shelter or a yearlong stay that includes drug rehab, counseling and life skills training. For longer-term residents, an aftercare program helps them reintegrate into the community.
“With our life skills program, we really want the women to go from homelessness to home ownership,” said Kent Clark, senior pastor and CEO of Grace Centers of Hope. “This new center is a dream come true and what I call a miracle place.”
Glascock has been sober for five years, is married with two children and the coordinator over volunteers at Grace Centers of Hope.
“When you get hooked on drugs like heroin, you literally sell your soul to the devil, and it can take you down some dark roads,” Glascock said. “Grace Centers of Hope saved my life and literally re-raised me. I would have never thought I would be here or even live to see my 20s. This is my family, and I’m forever grateful.”
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