The 24-7 Ministry to Women is gaining momentum as new members have been added to the board of directors and individuals, churches, and organizations are contributing. The purpose of the ministry is to help women who have been incarcerated and/or have chemical addictions. The National Institute of Corrections reports that the number of female inmates is increasing significantly and female inmates must overcome unique social, emotional and physical challenges that impede their ability to integrate smoothly back into society following a period of incarceration. At least 90% of the female incarcerations in the Holmes and Washington County Jails are due to drug related offenses.
Several new members have joined the board of directors. They include Leisa Bailey, M.D., a local physician, medical director of the Holmes County Community Health Clinic and involved in health care in Holmes and surrounding counties; Jeremiah Guynn, director of the male regeneration program in Holmes County called the FARM (Faith-based Addiction Regeneration Ministry); Missy Lee, Program Director, Substance Abuse & Mental Health, Fl Department of Children and Families, NW Region; Diane Little, ARNP, Psychiatric- Mental Health, Director, Holmes County Community Health Clinic; and John Wayne Searcy, member, Grace Fellowship Christian Church, peer counseling specialist for the Sheriffs’ department in Holmes, Washington and Jackson Counties and life recovery liaison at the jails. He also facilitates placement of drug offenders in various treatment facilities in Florida. Members continuing on the board of directors include Lynn Adams, Tracy Barbee, Sandra Hardin and Beverly Helms.
The board meets monthly and many of the board members visit and conduct regular Bible Studies for the ladies at Holmes and Washington County jails. Three of the board members conduct Celebrate Recovery Classes at the Holmes County Jail on Wednesdays. As a peer counseling specialist and life recovery liaison, John Wayne Searcy visits inmates at the three county jails on a regular basis.
There is a great need for a women’s treatment program in Holmes, Washington and surrounding counties that is regenerative in nature. At this point there are no such programs. Many women leave jail or prison with no place to go, lack transportation, job skills, source of income, functional support group and often have less than a high school education. Many of them return to jail or prison because they are ill-equipped to deal with the stresses of daily life in the community often including probation requirements and are not in recovery from their addictions. The 24-7 Ministry would provide a safe residential place for women receptive to transformation and willing to assume personal accountability for their recovery.
The public can assist by praying for the ministry, donating money or items, inviting a ministry member to speak to a church, class or civic group, volunteering to help or sharing information about possible facility sites. Donations may be sent to Lynn Adams, Treasurer, 520 Odom Road, Chipley, Florida, 32428. Checks should be made to 24:7 Ministry to Women, Inc. All donations are tax deductible as the Ministry is a 501C3 Non- Profit Corporation. Contact Tracy Barbee at email@example.com if you would like to have someone share about the ministry.