My name is Katie Benson. This is my story.

Katie graduated from the Powerhouse Transformation Center 6 years ago. When she came into the program, she was pregnant with her youngest son and desperate to change her life. Addiction and homelessness had led her to unhealthy relationships, which drove her deeper into discouragement and risky decisions.

While she was in the program, she was diligent and dedicated. Thinking back on her time with us, Katie says, “The program might be free, but it costs everything you have!” Her co-residents called her “the warden” because she was adamant about her recovery and wouldn’t put up with any garbage!

Powerhouse is preparing to break ground on a brand new facility that will be able to house 40 women and children, effectively doubling the current occupancy. As we chatted about the beautiful new facility, Katie teared up. “These women need to know that they are worthy of new and beautiful things! They need things like new paint and flooring, and a home that feels safe and clean. They need to know they’re loved and can begin to love themselves. It’s then that they can best love and care for their children. God sees us as beautiful women who are worthy of goodness. Powerhouse was home for my family. I’m glad it will be home for more women!”

Nancy Atchley, the Executive Director of Powerhouse, says, “The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection and healing.” Our programs aim at overcoming addiction by healing the pain that results from abuse and abandonment. When a broken heart is mended, there’s no longer a need for escape. A considerable part of that healing is grieving and stepping into forgiveness and trust.

Katie also says, “Powerhouse taught me how to reach out and build a healthy community. If I could give one piece of advice to the current residents, I would tell them that relationships are everything! Find your niche and get your people! You need people!

For the longest time, I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer in return, so I hesitated to ask for help. Powerhouse encouraged me to connect with a local church so that I would have the foundation and support I would need. That’s when Harbor Church became my family. They threw me a baby shower, loved me, and were there for me in more ways than I can count. Now that I have my own home, I can reciprocate in my relationships by inviting friends over and caring for people in my community.”

Powerhouse taught Katie how to trust people, overcome past hurts, and step into healthy relationships. “While I was in Powerhouse, I found a family. I was no longer a single mom, left alone to figure things out. I had a whole team of support to walk with me. It wasn’t easy. About nine months into my program, I wanted to run. My team requested an accountability meeting, where we talked about what they were seeing. I remember how they asked me what I wanted for my future. I said that I wanted more than to move in with a man or work at Mcdonald’s. I wanted to work in the medical field. We prayed, and within a week, I was researching a program. Powerhouse found sponsors for my training and cared for my kids while I went to school. Once I graduated, the relationships I had built at both Harbor Church and Powerhouse created a network of opportunities that eventually led to my dream job!”

“I want to thank Powerhouse for changing my life and Harbor Church for becoming family!”

Life transformation is our passion at Powerhouse. As we double the capacity of our Women & Children’s Transformation Center, more women like Katie will have the opportunity of a new life.