Denise Marsters has learned that you don’t have to go it alone in recovery, nor in giving back to others in need. She has found a most welcoming community in Jackson, Mississippi since opening a recovery home for women there last year. That support has sustained her through any uncertainty about the ultimate success of her aftercare program.
“We just achieved our nonprofit status last month,” Marsters says of The McCoy House for Sober Living, named after her late boyfriend who shared with her a dream of opening a sober residence. Nonprofit status had not been part of the original plan, but friends of Marsters say this now will lead to many individuals in Jackson’s active recovery community offering to help.
One of Marsters’ close friends, Libby Spence, has sponsored four women who have lived for a time at The McCoy House. Spence proudly reports that she remains in touch with them, and all four now have steady jobs.
“It’s a nice place to live,” Spence says of the home that underwent a four-month, $150,000 renovation before its doors opened. “There are not many places in this area that are that nice. It’s a very friendly, ‘old Southern charm’ kind of place.”
Marsters has made a concerted effort to introduce the house’s young women in early recovery to positive role models in the community. Many of the women who have stayed at the sober residence have battled both alcohol/drug and sexual addictions.
Spence considers her support role critical; she and Marsters themselves became friends through their recovery experiences.
“We’re able to offer these women some hope,” Spence says. “We can tell them that recovery is fun. Life gets pretty good.”