Reprint of an Article Appearing on the WGNS Radio Station Website November 2, 2014:
November 2, 2014, marked a beautiful Fall day where the doors of the new administrative offices of Doors of Hope at 428 E Bell Street in Murfreesboro, TN were officially opened by the cutting of the ribbon by County Mayor Ernest Burgess. Doors of Hope Executive Director, Maridel Williams, greeted excited guests and volunteers. Before entering the new facility, Maridel presented a plaque to honor Felicia Demos, the Board of Directors the Christy Houston Foundation, and other financial contributors, without whose support this day would not be possible.
Awards were also presented to the first Doors of Hope Board Chairperson, Bill Reed, whose courage and vision were essential to the acquisition and renovation planning of this new site. In honor of his service to Doors of Hope in its infancy, a plaque was presented naming the new men’s emergency housing facility “Reid Hall”. Another plaque was presented to honor extraordinary volunteer service. The plaque is named in honor of original Doors of Hope bookkeeper Bart Warner who has sadly passed away, but who has left behind a legacy of service and charity and friendship. Mr. Warner’s wife, Lucy, stepped forward to accept the Bart Warner Volunteer of the Year Award. Finally, the first name to grace the Volunteer of the Year Award plaque was that of Ms. Jackie Morgan for 2014. Jackie serves tirelessly as administrative assistant, mentor, transporter, and friend.
A tour of the new facility was then conducted with volunteers stationed in each room to answer questions. Doors of Hope celebrates a successful “Living in Freedom Every day (LIFE) Program,” which is focused on assisting women who are newly released from incarceration or rehabilitation settings with building the tools necessary to become a part of and thrive in the communities in which they live.
A huge component of this initiative is housing. The natural progression from the success of the women in the LIFE Program was to branch over to men who might benefit from Doors of Hope services, which led to the creation of Project Braveheart. Under the leadership of Michael Jordan and a handful of dynamic male mentors, Doors of Hope is taking the re-entry curriculum inside of the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center to reach out to men who are seeking a positive change. With a capacity for four, the upstairs level of the Doors of Hope offices serves as a men’s dormitory for emergency housing. According to a press release, “We are very excited that those 4 beds have already been assigned.”