Local residents turn sunroom into bedroom

Suzanne Rankins, Kimberly Buckner and Alice Jenkins, all Bedford residents and members of Bethany Covenant Church in Bedford, volunteered their time and talents to transform a sunroom into a bedroom at New Life Home for Women and Children.

Through donations of furniture, linens, curtains and more, these women were able to create a comfortable new space to add a bedroom to the Manchester-based program. The program depends entirely on private donations.

Women who come into the program usually are trapped in a cycle of homelessness, poverty, abuse and substance addiction. They often are not willing to enter treatment at the expense of separating from their children.

New Life was the first residential facility in the state of New Hampshire to incorporate children in its program.

It is one of the few programs in New Hampshire that accepts women with their children, even accepting addicts who are pregnant. It remains the only program of its kind in the area. In most cases, drug and/or alcohol use is just one of the women’s problems, and to focus exclusively on the individual’s substance abuse without dealing with other aspects of the person’s life, is like treating the symptoms without regard to the possible cause.

More than 80 percent of the women who have completed the program are drug free and living a productive, self-supporting life.