Read the real life story of our Founder and Director, Bobbi Jo Reed. From the ashes of addiction, prostitution, rape and homelessness comes an inspiring true story of faith, love, mercy and hope. Not only did God redeem Bobbi Jo, He continues to redeem others through her relentless recovery ministry. To order the book online click here.
With a last name like Patton he is bound to be called “General” from time to time. “General” Jim Patton is the fearless leader of the “Thursday Crew”, a group of 15-20 retired or semi-retired men who spend most Thursdays getting their hands dirty at Healing House. Jim began leading this group more than 7 years ago, when they were first introduced to Healing House to help renovate the Ruth House. Since that time he and his crew have helped repair or renovate virtually every Healing House home, both apartment complexes, the office, and the Hall. Jim’s wife Marilyn is also a generous Healing House supporter. Over the years she has created and donated many beautiful quilts for Healing House. Giving back is a priority in the Patton household.
Jim was born and raised in Kansas City, KS. A graduate of Rosedale High School (where he met his wife Marilyn) and the University of Kansas, he is an avid Jayhawks basketball fan. Jim spent most of his professional career as an engineer with Black and Veatch. He specialized in clean water and traveled the world designing and building water treatment facilities. Upon retirement, Jim also helped design 20 fresh water wells for Malawi, Africa.
Jim feels called to use his spiritual gifts to help those in need. His passion for our ministry is fueled by the relationships he has developed with our Healing House family. Jim enjoys working side by side with our residents as together they rebuild homes, and in the process rebuild lives. He is continually impressed by our propensity to “get things done” and with how we care for our homes after renovation. We are eternally grateful to Jim for doing God’s work in our community.
If you have been to the Hall recently you have probably met Karen, or at least you may have noticed her mentoring new residents. As the Hall Supervisor, she teaches life skills through community service. New residents learn food prep, organize clothing donations, and help keep the Hall neat and clean. A mother of three daughters, Karen knows the value of hard work. Her constant encouragement is an inspiration for those who are just beginning their sobriety journey.
Nearly every member of Karen’s biological family suffers from addiction. Because of the dysfunction in her family when she was young, Karen and her siblings were separated at an early age. She became a ward of the state at the age of 9. A series of foster homes became reality until she aged out of the system. In 2003 she lost her younger brother to a heroin overdose.
Temptation was always near and drinking became a way of life. One of her foster parents smoked weed regularly. Karen took her first drink at age 12. She attempted to take her own life at 15. Fortunately she was not successful. At 16 she took a job as a server in a bar. Karen drank her alcohol straight from the bottle which accelerated the addiction and caused lingering health problems. She lost her apartment and was homeless for a time.
After the birth of her first daughter, Karen decided to further her education and earned an Associate’s Degree in criminal justice. She considered becoming a police officer and even passed a law enforcement exam. And while she was able to care for her daughters, the drinking did not stop.
Finally Karen broke the chain of addiction, abuse and neglect in her family. Her recovery journey began during detoxification. In her words she was “stuck on stupid” and prayed that God would deliver her. She credits God with helping her win battles every day. And she credits Bobbi Jo Mama Judi for their incredible faith and inspiration as role models. Her journey continues and in April Karen will celebrate 3 years of sobriety.
Our featured volunteer this month is Tom, better known as “Alpha Tom”. Most Tuesday and Friday nights you can find him at the Hall teaching, mentoring and encouraging our residents. Nearly 7 years ago Tom helped launch the Friday Night Alpha Program (i.e. The Basics of the Christian Faith) at Healing House. Since that time Friday Night Alpha has become a weekly tradition. Tuesday night recovery meetings are also a staple of our recovery program that Tom helped start in 2011 as well, and he attends these meetings faithfully. His credibility stems from his own personal battle with alcohol addiction. His passion for healing is infectious and he hugs nearly everyone he meets. Tom will celebrate 8 years of sobriety in January 2018.
Tom’s involvement with Healing House began rather unexpectedly. In October 2010, a friend invited him to help set up musical equipment for a Friday night concert at the Hall. While enjoying the music Tom was approached by Ed, a longtime Healing House supporter. Ed, along with a strong nudge from the Holy Spirit, convinced Tom that he should start a Friday Night Alpha Program at the Hall. In less than three months Tom partnered with Pastor Jeff Kirby and organized a group of 16 volunteer Alpha leaders. On Friday, January 7, 2011 they held the first Alpha class at Healing House with 50 residents in attendance. Since that time attendance has more than tripled to nearly 180 current and former residents every week. Over the years many of our residents have come to know and love Jesus as a result of the Alpha Program.
Tom’s incredible experience at Healing House resulted in a recent career change. After many years as a General Manager for Rodrock Development, he has decided to pursue a second career in full time ministry at Church of the Resurrection as Pastor of Recovery Ministry. He also proudly serves on the Healing House Board of Directors. We wish Tom well as he transitions into this second phase of life. And we especially thank his wife Marcy and their two daughters Kathryn and Erin for sharing “Alpha Tom” with our family at Healing House.