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This is from my heart.  Hope it will touch yours.  I been a addict for over 20 years.  When you know in your heart that how and where is this madness going to stop.  You tried inpatient, outpatien… Read more

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January, 2016

Thank you for welcoming me in such a warm manner to the Lighthouse your gifts of love meant so much to me. I’m so grateful to be here and I’m looking forward to someday helping others the way you have helped me. I plan to pay it forward bless you and thank you. R.A.

The Lighthouse Outreach is a Christian transitional housing designed to help women coming out of prison or other situations where they need help. I am a recovering alcoholic saved by the grace of God. The Lighthouse is associated with many of the area churches that are willing to sponsor ladies just coming to the Lord. We are a faith based program helping women like myself find our way to God, while living here I’ve been able to get myself together and find a new way of life.

The ladies on the board have an understanding of what it takes to get your life in order, be responsible and accountable. My experience here has been one that’s given me an attitude of gratitude. I’m beginning to have self worth, live independently and learning how to make right choices for myself. I no longer feel I’m all alone. Learning more everyday how God must be first in all situations, if not I risk losing all I’ve been able to gain in this program and in life.

I have a long way to go however I’ve been given a great opportunity to become the woman God has meant me to be. I thank all of the ladies who are helping me to find my way to the Lord. S.C.

The person I used to be was a person that didn’t have a life, was a very disrespectful woman, that didn’t know how to change. A woman that didn’t have any hope at all for herself. But on April 16, 2015 I gained that hope and found my higher power who I choose to call my Lord Jesus other known as God. The Lighthouse gave me the tools to move forward, to wanna do better with the help of God, a mentor, and a home church.

I never thought in a million years I would be able to live clean and sober and find God all in the same time frame. But with the help of the Lighthouse and God I came a long way and I love it.

I am pushing to move forward on my new life and thanks to the Lighthouse that I have become the woman I always wanted to be. “A Christian woman”

Thank you, N.P.

April, 2014
Where do I begin.. before I came to the light house my life was in chaos , my heart broken and I was hanging on by a string. Hope.. a strong word that lead me into learning the word of the Lord. I was such an angry mis lead person and the teaching and patients of the women that surrounded me here at the light house gave me even more hope. Through learning the word, praying and going to church I have found myself.. the old fun loving, warm hearted, funny self. I work on myself everyday and ask the Lord to help me continue to grow. I have learned to be patient, more understanding and most of all that it is OK to ask for help.. I love myself more then I ever have, I have become a better mother, daughter, friend but most importantly I have became a daughter to the Lord. My work ethic has changed I love being clean and sober. But most of all im free and loving the life of the Lord. I can say that this is the best desicion I have eve made and I will continue on my path. This is truly a humbling experience. There is AlWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel you just need to walk the path.

I was born and raised in South Philadelphia. I was raised mostly by my grandmother. Both my mother and father were addicts and while my mother lived in the same house with me she was not the one who did any of the parenting with the exception of discipline.

During my childhood I was exposed to violence, sexual, mental, and physical abuse and a form of neglect that I couldn’t readily identify until much later in life. I would “zone out” to cope with the problems in my home.

There was a light and a hope in my life even back then, my grandmother gave me a children’s Bible when I was younger than 5 and I was an early reader. Because of this it wasn’t long before I would come to love God and His word and to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.

It also wouldn’t be long before I began to rebel against God with the justification “if you can’t beat them join them”. I felt and was treated like an outcast in my own family and by the time I was twelve years old I was in full rebellion against my grandmother’s authority.

As a result of my rebellion I was pregnant three times before my 18th birthday. The first was aborted when I was 30+ weeks pregnant and this just caused a root of bitterness to take hold in me and I made a vow to myself that no one would ever be able to make me kill another baby.

I had two children by the time I was 18 and my grandmother had enough. She gave me the choice to either go to live with my mother in Harrisburg or go into the shelter and get my own place. I chose my mother over the shelter and at the close of my 11th grade year in Philly my children & I moved to Harrisburg.

Once in Harrisburg I learned that my mother was now addicted to crack cocaine and in active addiction. I called my grandmother and she refused to believe me which just increased my anger and my foolish rebellion. One night my mother and I got into a fight and I hurt her badly. She went to the hospital and I went to jail. That would begin my contact with Children & Youth and a downward spiral into my own addiction, neglect, and abuse of my children.

In 2001 my mother died as a result of injuries she received in a car accident. I was furious with God. People look at me strange when I say I was angry with God. Like how dare I admit it? It’s like trying to hide in the middle of an empty field, impossible. Before I ever admitted it God knew I was angry with Him. He also knew I wouldn’t allow Him to be God of my entire life. I just wanted Him to be my Savior and my Buddy that I could rely on when things were rough. -you know not going the way I’d planned-

After my mother died I spiraled down faster. In 2002 pregnant for the 8th time with my 6th child I did the unthinkable and I beat my oldest two children. They were placed in foster care and I was charged with Endangering The Welfare of Minors.

For the next 2 and 1/2 years I fought to get them back. Only I had a secret that I wasn’t ready to give up. When I moved to Harrisburg I began to drink and smoke marijuana. I quickly learned that I loved everything about marijuana and I made every effort to have it and smoke it often.

Needless to say I lost my children. Two remained in foster care, one was adopted, and the remaining three were sent to live with their father. Shortly, after my rights were terminated to my oldest three children the father of my youngest three children was at my door dropping off our three children. I was so desperate to prove to myself that I wasn’t a failure as a mother I took my children and ran back to Philly.

Only the problem with problems is that unless you confront them they become unresolved issues. So I set off for Philly in 2005 with the same issues I’d left with and a few more I’d gained while I was in Harrisburg for good measure.

I worked, went to school, took care of my daughters to the best of my ability. My son was with their father. In 2007, everything I was running from finally caught up with me and I was arrested on a warrant to face the charges of Endangering. I pled guilty because although I hadn’t done exactly what they alleged in my charges I was guilty of abusing and neglecting my children and they weren’t safe with me when I was in that frame of mind.

Originally, I was to be sentenced to 7-17 years. Thankfully, God had mercy on me and I spoke to the judge and told him what I’d been doing in the last 4 years. He did a pre-sentencing investigation and found that I’d told him the truth so he reduced my sentence to 14-28 months. I went to SCIMuncy in February of 2008 and I was released in April of 2010 completely maxed out. I had a few options of people to live with when I came home and I knew none were good options so originally I chose to go into a transitional housing program with a Christian foundation because I knew it was the best option for me.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t done rebelling against God or running from my issues. In prison I could have went on meds and ignored my issues only I really didn’t want to wind up back in prison so I forced myself to face a lot of things while I was incarcerated. Once I was free to come & go as I pleased I had too many ways to escape and I chose to run instead of staying and allowing God to work in me.

God is faithful and through it all He has been gently and at times not so gently shaking me to get my attention. In 2012 my youngest child was hit by a car crossing the street and killed. Out of so much hurt God brought beauty into my life. I am now employed part-time. My next to the youngest child has been living with me since 2012. I’m rebuilding my relationship with my oldest two children and I’ve gotten to see all of my children at least once. I’m now a grandmother of a beautiful little girl and God is healing the hurts and drawing me closer to him.

I don’t pretend to know God’s plan for my life. I don’t claim it’s always easy, I always enjoy it, or I’m always grateful. I do know this all things work together for the good of those who LOVE God and are called according to His purpose.

October, 2013

Where would I be without the Lighthouse?


Prior to my Light House residency….

Less than 7 months ago, I was lost in the “sea of life after prison” I had served 4 years in PA Department Of Corrections (DOC). One year of that time was served in a Community Corrections Center (CCC) (A.K.A. Halfway House) in Harrisburg. I paroled from there to my home town and a family owned apartment. My accountability group was my family… period that’s it. In less than 5 months I was dating a drug dealer, quit going to my family’s church, and dangerously close to catching a new charge. That is where I was less than 7 months ago …before I came to the Light House.


How did I know about the Light House?

When I was in the CCC in Harrisburg, I attended a church for about a month. Through that church, I was connected with a community service project that was required by DOC. That project was to make ready the Lighthouse, a home for women coming out of prison or other situations. Little did I know that I would need the Lighthouse less than 2 years later.


What is the Light House?

The Light House is a half – row-house, NOT a halfway house. The director, my friend and confidante, Pat Paxton, lives in the first floor apartment. The second floor is two more apartments and the third floor is one apartment with two private, locked bedrooms. The home is peaceful, private, and neatly decorated and furnished.


How does the Light House work?

A(application) A (a church) A(action plan). During the AAA process, through a meeting or two, your individual needs and goals are established and addressed with an action plan. Your success is hinged on your level of commitment because the Lighthouse is absolutely committed to your success – spiritually, physically, and financially.
The Lighthouse collaborates with probation and parole for the sake of credibility. At first that was intimidating to me until I realized what that meant. It simply meant that my support team now had Bibles and handcuffs. The Lighthouse has a relationship established with county probation and state parole in that they know who the Lighthouse is and what games they do not play. The Lighthouse is here to help women, not send them back.
As a client in other programs, it seemed that those who facilitated them soon became locked into a regiment of paperwork. Various evaluations were required for participants that were for the sake of grant monies. That’s why the Lighthouse is different. It is a true ministry for women operating through freedom in Christ. It is evident that the Spirit of God is at work here that Spirit should continue.


How has the Light House helped me?

I now have an accountability group that is not exclusively my family. Through my church, I am involved in two cell groups that meet through the week; I have new meaningful and real friendships invested in relationship with Christ.
I have also severed the ungodly relationships that were taking me backward. After my release, I had slowly become connected with all my “old friends” and some new ones that were not good. I know if I had continued that way, a halfway house or prison was my next move. But the Lighthouse provided an alternative for me. While it was hard for me to sever those relationships, the Light House provided other resources to filling those uncomfortable voids. They truly understood my struggle. Here are just a few of the resources that I have personally experienced and grown from as a result of the Light House:

  • Budgeting
  • Food drives
  • Bible studies
  • Seminars
  • Concerts
  • Clothing drives
  • Planning for Future Housing
  • Deliverance ministry
  • Community involvement
  • 24×7 access to Help

I doubt that I have yet realized the full benefit of the Lighthouse to me. I just know that I am thankful today that I came here – or was led here? I am thankful for those who have prayed for me, believing that God could bring it to pass. One of those is my father who died suddenly one month after I moved into the Lighthouse. This has been a divine appointment for me and I know it from the depths of my heart and soul.

Thank You Jesus.