An Abilene woman is on a mission to help rehabilitate female felons after they finish serving time for breaking the law.
“I was a drug addict for a long time. I had been in and out of jail for years and I went to prison.” states Emily Whitten.
Prison turned out to be the wake up call Whitten needed.
While behind bars she learned about New Beginnings, a place for women to go after being incarcerated. A place to call home in a Christian-based setting.
Missy Denard says her faith guided her to New Beginnings and it’s what continues to give her the strength to help women like Whitten.
“I know what it feels like.” states Denard. “I know and I can relate.”
On average, there are 30 women in the program at the same time. Most stay for about a year but Denard says they can stay as long as they need to.
“We’ve grown from one house to three houses and an 8 unit apartment complex,” explains Denard.
Now, they own and operate a resale shop. Money raised supports the non-profit and leads to outside success.
“What this will be able to do for us?” asks Denard. “We’ll be able to help the women with work skills and work ethic because a lot of them don’t have any. A lot of them, they don’t have any work skills. They sold drugs or you know, prostitution. Whatever they could do to get by”
“Missy has helped me not go back to the old people and places and things. I started drawing in prison and she’s nurtured my talent. I’ve been able to use it here,” states Whitten.
The Inner Creations Resale Shop is at 2252 South 14th St., open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.