Halfway House Halfway Going - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/17/04-Gregg County

Halfway House Halfway Going

She's a woman on a mission. After more than a decade of freedom from her drug addiction, one East Texas woman is out to help other recovering addicts do the same.

"She says she's willing to make the necessary changes. She says, 'can you help me'..."

Reading letters like this one what Marilyn Phillips says her mission is all about. She is active in a women's jail ministry in Gregg County, mostly dealing with convicted drug offenders-something Marilyn says she once was as well.

"I smoked for two years, but I got tired quick. I couldn't stand the pace, the humiliation, the disrespect for myself. But when you smoke you lose all of that. It goes down the drain, it goes down that crack pipe that you smoke and you love that crack pipe more than you love yourself," says Phillips.

Marilyn says it took the Lord and help from her family to beat her addiction. Now after twelve years of being clean, she says her calling is to her to help other struggling women.

"When I see them, I see me. I had a chance. I had somebody to bring me out of it, a lot of them don't. Sometimes you can mess up so bad with Mom and Dad, you can go back home."

Marilyn says, many times, women just out of jail, turn back to their addictions because they have no where else to go. She says she wants to be that place with her Halfway House. An already state-certified, non-profit organization, "From Bondage to Freedom House" is ready for six women out of jail and recovering from drug addictions.

"You're going to have to actively gain employment. There are going to be curfews, there are going to be house rules that you'll have to follow," she says to future women of the house.

But as of right now, there is no house, only a destination.

"All I need is some kind hearted Christian people to donate," Marilyn says with tears in her eyes.

After sending letters to almost one hundred potential donors, Marilyn has seen no response.

"When I'm not at work, I'm writing letter, I'm in the phone book and anybody that has an address, I'm writing to those people. It takes one person to put forth that step."

Even without donations or a house, Marilyn remains dedicated to her cause.

"I let women know, don't look at me and see a suit and a pair of J Renee shoes. I've been down that road. I have done some of the same things these ladies have done, and when God cleaned me up I owe God and I'm going to pay God until the day I die."

If you would like more information on the "From Bondage to Freedom House" or you want to make a donation, you can call 903-758-6081.

Reported By: Braid Sharp bsharp@kltv.com

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