By Bridget Flynn
LA PORTE — A local organization wants to fund a recovery house for women recently released from the big house.
About 50 people came to Casey’s Lanes on Saturday for Worthy Women Recovery Home Inc.’s second annual bowl-o-rama which raised funds for the Christian-based non-profit organization. The group is attempting to raise funds for a house in which women can be prepared for life outside prison after they are released.
“We don’t just want a home,” said Sonshine Troche said, founder and president of the organization. “That’s just a starting point.” The organization also hopes to create an educational center for former inmates’ children. Troche, a correction officer at Westville Correction Facility, said she uses a Moral Reconation Therapy program with female inmates. The MRT is a step-by-step curriculum that teaches inmates higher levels of moral reasoning.
“When they (female inmates) first get out of prison, they have the desire to do good, but no game plan how to do it,” said Troche. “That’s why we’re passionate about having a recovery home where they can heal in all aspects.”
The organization raised almost $12,000 as of Friday toward a house, Troche said. When the organization has raised $20,000 for the house, they are going to begin looking for one, Troche said. The organization has been raising funds for the house since March 2009.
“We’d like to have a substantial down payment,” she said, so monthly payments will be kept to a minimum.
“I think it’s a really important program,” Sue Burkhard said of Worthy Women Recovery. Burkhard, who works as a dispatcher for the police department of Benton Harbor, Michigan, was attending the bowl-o-rama.
“There really needs to be a loving, caring, compassionate hand touching these people now so we don’t have them coming back (to prison). On a monetary level it costs a huge amount of money to incarcerate people. We can make a difference in the community. I think it’s good for these programs to get off the ground so I don’t see them down the road.”
Shari Bailey of Michigan City also said she thinks highly of the program. “Once they (inmates) get out, if they don’t have a program they’re just going to get stuck in a vicious cycle,” she said. “A lot of times it’s learned behavior and if someone doesn’t show them a different way they’ll be repeat offenders.”