Iris lived in fear for the majority of her life. This fear lead her into addiction and a life spent in-and-out of prison. After eight years of sobriety, Iris relapsed and was sent to jail. Incarcerated during the pandemic, she received an early release but she did not want to leave the jail.
Iris explains, “They let me out. I didn’t want to get out because I wanted to go to treatment. I wanted my life back. I didn’t want material things. I just wanted myself back.”
Iris Knew There Had to Be More to Sobriety
She had been clean but was filling her life with all the things other than God to stay clean. She didn’t want to drown in counterfeit coping mechanisms. She wanted to be free. She wanted God. She wanted the tools to be clean and not be fearful.
“When I first came to the Lovelady, I felt at home. I felt at peace. I wasn’t afraid.”
The Lovelady Center’s culture of love spoke to her heart and she realized, at the Center, she did not hurt anymore. She realized that the community was what she’d been looking for many years.
“God was here. The worship, the Word, the place itself, this building. God is in this place. The whole thing put together is like a masterpiece. I wouldn’t change anything for the world.”
After graduating from the program in November of 2022, Iris was hired as a Lovelady Center employee and serves at the Irondale Thrift Store. She plans to go into ministry and is trusting God for her next steps.
True Freedom Only Comes from Faith in Jesus
Jesus Christ is at the heart of The Lovelady Center's success. It is out mission to help women rebuild their lives and walk forward with faith-driven hope for the future. The Lovelady Center ensures that each woman is taught how to overcome barriers to success by providing not only much-needed services, but also life skills and spiritual guidance. We can give a woman shelter, food and clothing, but if she cannot support herself and parent her children, the cycle of poverty and incarceration will not be broken.
The physical chapel is not only the center of the Lovelady Center building but also the center of every day - the Word of God is at the center of all we do. Prayer goes into every step of the process and we seek His will over the lives of each woman entrusted to our care.
Hopelessness is at the root of most circumstances in which our women find themselves before coming to Lovelady. As women step into the light of Christ and understand that true Hope comes from Him alone, we begin to see cycles of despair broken at the Center.
"For to this end, we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savor of all people, especially of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10
Lovelady Thrift Stores Teach Valuable Skills
Not only do our two Lovelady Thrift Stores, located in Irondale and Clay, provide over 60% of our annual budget that supports 500+ women and children daily, but they also provide much-needed job skills to our women seeking a new way to live.
Through the processes of sorting, pricing, tagging, stocking, display, etc., our women gain skills which will benefit them in their future job searches.
Staffed by 99% Lovelady graduates, our Lovelady Thrift Stores provide jobs and training even after the program completion, giving our women job experience they can include in future resumes.
Opportunities to Invest in The Lovelady Center
Investment of Time
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:10
Come alongside the Lovelady Center and serve our residents: Volunteer
Investment of Resources
Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of sacrifice—that take place in the kitchen and in the workplace and on the streets. -Hebrews 13:16 (MSG)
Because of God’s goodness, we are able to sustain 70% of our budget through earned revenue generated by our Lovelady Thrift Stores and other sources. Thirty percent of our budget comes from donors and grants to our mission!
$3000 provides services for one Lovelady for an entire year
$250 provides services for a month
$60 provides services for a week
Investment of Social Capital
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
As the saying goes, be a friend, make a friend, bring a friend to Lovelady! Each of us have friends and colleagues who may resonate with the work at The Lovelady Center. We offer monthly opportunities for you to come and bring a friend or four to learn more about and to see the Center.