North Charleston home gives new lease on life

A North Charleston home is tucked away from a life of drugs, alcohol and prison. It's a home that gives women just released from jail a new lease on life.

Hope Demaline is eager to talk about the love she has for her mother. She's even open about talking about her past. The 41-year-old's life does not read like a fairytale book but one of a past filled with drugs, alcohol and prostitution.

"It took me everywhere. It took me to robbing from my family. I also did an eight year federal sentence for distribution of crack,"says Demaline.

Demaline says drugs were so prominent in her life that it took her to an all time low last November while her mother was dying from cancer.

"I chose to stay in my apartment and smoke crack instead of going to the hospital and saying goodbye to her," says Demaline.

Just released from the Charleston County Detention Center, Hope is leaning on faith and the Magdaline Transitional House which she came to after leaving jail.

"I felt like shame on me if I did not take this opportunity," said Demaline.

That opportunity is afforded Demaline along with six other women the chance to rebuild rent free and utility free. So they can focus on recovery.

Former Miss North Carolina, Freida Lewis, is the executive director of the Magdaline House. Twelve years ago she lived the same life some of the women she mentors lived. She had her first taste of alcohol at the age of five.

"I was involved in drugs and alcohol and I was facing 30 years. I think this was gods way of waking me up and telling me you have to get your life together," says Lewis.

Since then she has helped countless others.

"It gives me the opportunity to feed back into what I once was. Someone had to do it for me and never give up. I won't give up no matter what it takes," says Lewis.

The transitional program allows the women to live a structured life in the home for two years.  During that time the women attend meetings receive daily devotion, learn job skills, financial planning and work regular jobs until it's time to transition back into society.

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