Transitional house to host auction, chili feed for repairs and outreach

Jane Saunders and her daughter Clara McCarthy have been living at the Redemption House since September.

Jane Saunders and her daughter Clara McCarthy have been living at the Redemption House since September. Photos by Urmila Ramakrishnan

The Redemption House in Stanchfield helps women like Peggy Engren get back on track.

River Valley Christian Church bought the property in September 2012. Since then, it’s housed eight women. The transitional home provides a safe environment for women to work on their sobriety through weekly meetings, Bible study and church services.

“The drug world is horrible,” Engren said. “Some people need to learn how to become independent again.”

After battling addiction, Engren decided to get treatment a little more than two years ago at the Dellwood Recovery Center in Cambridge. She moved from there to the Fish House in Cambridge before moving to Redemption House in October 2012. She’s now heading the program and has plans to return to school.

Engren’s most memorable success story was from a woman who moved into the home shortly after she did. She moved in from the jail ministry, Engren said. Engren took the woman under her wing and encouraged and guided her. After eight months in the house, the woman is now living with her kids in her own home, volunteers, has a job and goes to church services regularly.

The house has also been a home for Jane Saunders and her 16-month-old daughter Clara McCarthy, residents since September. The two moved in after being part of the New Pathways homeless shelter program in Cambridge.

When Clara first got to the home, she had delayed mental functions and wasn’t walking properly. Now, she’s a bubbly, babbling and energetic child. Saunders noted she also wants to go back to school.

Engren hopes she can tell more success stories in the future. Though the house isn’t well-known yet, it’s been full since its inception. Engren hopes the upcoming fundraiser for the house will give the community an opportunity to see what it’s about and how it helps the community.

Peggy Engren is in charge of the program at Redemption House.

Peggy Engren is in charge of the program at Redemption House.

The silent auction and chili feed to raise money for needed repairs on the aging house will run 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at 37126 Highway 65 NE, Stanchfield.

Engren hopes the fundraiser generates approximately $1,000. The house also needs a new stove, windows and furniture.

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