by Lynne Williams
When the decision was made in 2018 to move the Women’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) program from Romulus to Detroit, Mich., no one could have predicted the events 2020 would bring. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the Southeast Michigan ARC women’s program, currently the only ARC women’s program in the Central Territory. Since the ARC could not take new admissions for almost three months, the number of people housed temporarily declined. It also changed many of the ways the ARC operated in terms of quarantining new residents, class sizes, protocols for counseling and even worshipping.
Still, the need for assistance is great, and the program is working for women currently at the Southeast Michigan ARC.
“I came to the women’s program in Detroit because I needed to go somewhere that wasn’t in my comfort zone,” said Andrea, who traveled from Springfield, Ill., after reaching out to the corps there. “I needed to focus on me and my relationship with God and not be so worried about my usual surroundings.”
Indeed, the program has attracted women from all over the territory, with beneficiaries from Indiana, Illinois and as far away as upper Wisconsin on the Minnesota border. Many of the referrals come from corps officers, other ARC administrators and an online application called Get Help Now which generates online requests for information from men and women.
“Get Help Now has been a big factor in leading us to women needing assistance. There just aren’t a lot of options for them—it’s certainly a factor in the regional diversity of our female residents,” said Heather Kick, women’s resident manager and former program graduate.
When they arrive, many women find the structure of the program to be exactly what they need. After living in chaotic, troubled and traumatic environments, they are glad to learn through program elements such as work therapy and life skills classes how to become responsible, productive and accountable—often getting their families and children back into their lives. They also can build their relationship with God. With spiritual counseling, Christian living classes and Bible studies, many women can see the goodness God has brought to their lives.
“God is in the restoration business, keeping these beautiful women on purpose for a purpose, being intentional with getting them to the center,” Heather said. “It is a beautiful thing to see a woman find her way back to the Lord, and even more beautiful when one finds Him for the first time.”
The Southeast Michigan ARC six-month residential women’s program currently has several participant openings and is accepting new intakes. Proper COVID-19 screenings and protocol are conducted upon arrival and throughout each individual’s stay. For more information, contact the center at (313) 965-7760, ext. 234.