WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - A local ministry is sending out a call for help as it works to reunite mothers with their children after they’re released from prison. It’s called Mary’s Place. It’s operated by Adullam House, which provides a home for children while they’re mothers are incarcerated.
Mary’s Place is a one-year residential program, offering a home for the mother when she’s released along with support and education as she reunites with her children.
"There’s a 30-day window where the first two weeks is spent just with mom getting on her feet, going to appointments, that sort of thing. she begins volunteering in our thrift store,” explained Mary’s Place Director Traci Martin.
The Mary’s Place home is complete with furnished bedrooms, a full size kitchen, a living area, all to teach women how to reemerge into society as functioning and effective mothers, and making sure they have the skills they need to keep a household running.
“Let us walk beside you, let us love you, let us help you get on your feet,” said Martin.
Mary’s Place’s first resident is Beth, released from Tutwiler on Sept. 10.
“You go from laying on a steel bunk to a nice bed in a nice house and your own space,” Beth said.
Beth has a 4-year-old daughter and was pregnant with another baby girl when she went to prison last March.
“Life was tough,” Beth described how she lived before she went to prison. “My 4-year-old, she would stay in daycare til midnight because I was a waitress, I worked second shift.”
Beth’s baby has lived at Adullam House since she was born six months ago. They’ve spent a total of just 15 hours together.
“We take the children to the prisons once a month from 10:00-1:00,” Martin said.
“I would just hold her, rock her, walk around with her, show her to the other ladies. We love to show each other's babies off,” remembered Beth.
Martin has been preparing Beth for her life to change. “Beth had a genuine sorrow just for her circumstances and where her daughter was.”
Today, that sorrow has been replaced with hope.
“It’s going to be different,” Beth promised through tears. “My girls get a second chance. They get a chance to be normal, they get a chance to have a good life, to know the Lord, and to not have to go through what I went through. I just want better for them.”
Mary’s place has two big needs right now. The first is a laundry room. The house has the perfect spot for it but needs some help securing an apartment-style, stackable washer and dryer along withe the plumbing and electrical work to hook up the machines.
The other need is the back yard. There is a vision to turn it into a space that can be used for prayer, bible study, or for the mother to just enjoy being outside with her children. Pea gravel has already been donated. The hope now is for donations of anything that will beautify the space - like furniture, a grill, maybe a fire pit and lights, to make it a special place for these moms and their children.
Adullam House provides a home to about 30 children at any given time. Only one mother stays at Mary's Place at a time.