Established in 2007 in the Atlanta suburb of McDonough, Georgia, Shining Light House for Women is a non-profit organization that provides faith-based structured transitional living for women, including criminal justice clients, in early recovery. Founder Teresa Bestwick is a recovering addict and she believes that clients can found lifelong freedom by utilizing Christ as their Higher Power. The program is a year long, and also uses a 12-step based protocol.
Accommodations and Amenities
Shining Light House has two facilities. The residential lock-in recovery house, which is used during the first six or seven months of the program accommodates nine women, while the sober living house has a seven-bed capacity. The residential house includes one double, one triple and a quadruple-occupancy room. An average room includes twin beds with headboards, comforters and matching pillows, dressers and framed oval mirrors.
At both houses, food is provided, and clients rotate, taking turns preparing meals inside a spacious fully equipped kitchen with white cabinets and matching appliances. Clients eat at assigned meal times, which includes snacks. Personal food preferences, except for food allergies, are not taken into account. Clients are allowed two cups of coffee in the morning, and one caffeinated beverage at lunch.
Amenities include a laundry room, landline and house computer, which are used on a limited basis. Staff lives on the premises. On a daily basis, the women receive six authorized cigarette breaks, outside the premises. Clients are allowed to listen to two approved radio stations.
Rules and Regulations
The program length is 12-months. Prior to admission, clients must have undergone detox. Additionally, they must not exhibit any mental or physical conditions that require medication monitoring. Also, they must exhibit a strong willingness to participate in a Biblical and 12-step based program. Residents spend between six and seven months at the first house, before moving into the sober living house.
During the phase one, residents participate in a highly structured routine, which includes attending Bible study sessions, participating in Christian counseling, going to 12-step meetings and Church services and performing community service. Criminal justice clients also participate in Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) groups. During phase two, clients follow the same protocol as outlined in the first phase, with additional services, as well as receiving individualized treatment plans. Residents participate in daily household chores.
Random drug and alcohol screenings are conducted. At Shining Light House, residents who relapse are immediately evicted from the premises. Reports are also made to proper authorities, if appropriate. The curfew is 9:30 pm seven days a week, with lights out at 10 pm.
Additional services include anger management, relapse prevention groups, vocational guidance, GED preparation, financial budgeting, credit management, life skills and domestic violence classes. The women are assisted with finding permanent housing. Those who have not found a safe and suitable permanent residence have the option of staying at the sober living house for a period of up to 90 additional days.
Besides relapse, Shining Light House has a zero tolerance for gossip, gambling, vandalism, physical or verbal abuse, sexual conduct and theft.
Needless to say, Shining Light House has a highly structured protocol, and is suitable for clients desiring comprehensive Christian-centered services. Shining Light House is a member of the Georgia Association of Recovery Residences, and has the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles Seal. For many criminal justice clients, seeking a strong Christian, as well as 12-step based program, with comprehensive services, Shining Light House might be a suitable fit.
Shining Light House
772 Racetrack Rd
McDonough, GA 30253
Shining Light House
PO Box 2557
McDonough, GA 30252
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