"Trading Spaces" Event At Vacant Nursing Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/27/04-Sulphur Springs

"Trading Spaces" Event At Vacant Nursing Home

East Texas is home to many single moms raising children on their own, but now, they'll have somewhere to stay, if they need to.

"When you sit at home and you're like, oh, I have all these bills, I have all these troubles, you don't think about all these people that really have a heart for single moms, and you're really not alone," Jenny Arndte, a single mom from Sulphur Springs, said.

The 28,000-sq. ft. place was the vision of one Sulphur Springs woman, Tammy Pearson. She raised three children by herself for seven years. And now, she wants to help other women going through the same struggles.

"I guess this was just the right direction for me," she said. "And to be able to be a part of so many lives that will be changed, hopefully, through the program and everything that we'll have here."

This building may not look like much now, but when it's finished, Chrysalis House will be a home for homeless single moms and their children, pregnant teenagers, and women coming out of half-way houses. Pearson's goal is to provide for them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

"We're going to have hobby rooms," she said. "And we have a doctor, a couple of people that are going to be coming in and teach sewing and knitting and crocheting and quilting and things like that."

The women staying there will each have jobs to do, like cleaning, working in the clothes closet, and gardening. They'll also learn skills to prepare them for jobs after they leave.

It's all possible because of support from the community. Each room is sponsored by an East Texas church, organization, or individual. And they're the ones there today, fixing up their spaces.

"It's just undescribable the feeling that you get and the joy," Pearson said. "There's not a price on it."

The building for Chrysalis House used to be a nursing home. The company that owned it donated it to Pearson. She and hundreds of volunteers plan to spend the next several months renovating it.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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