New women and children's shelter opens in Huntsville

New women and children's shelter opens in Huntsville
(Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A brand new $7 million dollar shelter is open for any women or children that don't have homes or need to escape their current home life situation.

The Downtown Rescue Mission Owen's House is a place for women and children only. It's been a project in the works for eight years, and now the doors are finally open.

"I love it. It is so much better than the old building," said Johnetta Montgomery.

More than 300 women and children can stay at Owen's House.

"I love the food here. I can't stop talking about the food," Montgomery said.

It's a place to grow, and for Ronda Keough, it's been the most positive experience.

"It's been about eight months ago my daughter dropped me off and never came back," Keough said.

She said she's the closest to God she's ever been.

"When I came in, I was mad. I'm not mad anymore. I'm happy, excited, and the people here are just awesome," she said.

"We want to be that beacon of light for the Huntsville community," said senior director of the women's ministry, Tracy Gibson.

The shelter helps people get their life back and a future for their children.

"We are using this to even break generational things so that their children won't have to go through what they went through," Gibson said.

In the program they offer counseling, a nursery, job skill training and they even have a salon.

"We have volunteers getting them ready for those interviews, helping them feel like themselves again," Gibson said.

They see more people in the colder months but they welcome anyone to stay as long as they need.

"We are finding that moms are bouncing back and don't need our help as long," she said.

It's changing the outlook these women have on life.

"I'm in a brand new building and it keeps me to want me to have a brand new life cause I'm in this building," Montgomery said.

The Downtown Rescue Mission provided 3,927 nights of shelter for children in 2017. Organizers say they don't turn away anyone in need.

Raising the funds for Owen's House was all done by capital companion donations.

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