Editor’s Note:  This is part of an ongoing series of conversations with staff at drug rehabilitation programs, beginning in Carter County before branching out into greater Southern Oklahoma.

Question: Have you noticed an uptick in residents you’ve taken in over the past few weeks?

Answer: “Yes I have. We can house up to 18 women. We stay full most of the time. We like to keep some beds free for our women who are coming out of prison, because they don’t know what day they’ll be released. But other than that, we do intakes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And our Tuesdays and Thursdays are full of appointments.”

Q: What other rehabs are available for women in the area? Do you find it hard to meet the needs of each woman who seeks help?

A: “In Ardmore, there are a lot of recovery options compared to other cities in Oklahoma. For women, there is the Destiny Recovery Center as well as graduate homes that they have. There is Oxford House, and there are some churches that have recovery homes for women. The family shelter has been around for years serving women who need protection from domestic abuse. When we are full, we refer out to these other agencies, and what we find is that when we’re full the others are also bursting at the seams.”

Q: How pervasive do you think drug abuse has been compared to years past? Do you foresee it rising or going down?

A: “I only see drug abuse and drug addiction getting worse through the years. Like I said, all the available recovery options stay very busy. The jails are also full. Even the prisons are always calling needing places to discharge inmates to because they are overcrowded.”

Q: Are local nonprofits in a crunch for resources lately?

A: “Nonprofits are always in a crunch for resources. We are blessed to have a very giving and loving community that reaches out. I am so grateful and proud to be a part of such a giving community. It really does bless my heart. We are a community who works together and serves together. We help each other fill in the gaps. United Way is instrumental in making these things happen. And I am very honored and grateful to be a United Way agency. We work together and serve together and help each other. That’s what it’s all about.”

Q:  What can people do to help?

A: “Anybody can offer time, resources, or services to these agencies. It goes without saying we could all use more money. But, at Naomi House, we have an outpour of love in other areas as well. Services such as art classes, photography, and tickets to local events, which we are so grateful for! This community also donates plenty of clothing to our clothing closet, and food to our pantry. Our ladies often come in from jails and other institutions with absolutely nothing including hygiene items which we have for them, thankfully, because of donations from this community.

But I would also add, and ask that believers in this community continue to pray for United Way and for the agencies that work together to help heal this community. We need a power greater than ourselves for restoration.”