DORA – September 14 is a special day for The City of Lights Dream Center in Dora.
The charity will celebrate its first anniversary with a Freedom Forward Gala. In the coming year, the charity will focus on the problem of addiction.
“Our vision is eliminating the darkness of poverty and addiction,” said Jamie Massey, who is the executive director of the charity organization.
“We’re celebrating what has happened over the past year, and we’re casting visions for 2020,” Massey added. “We want to make people aware of where we’re going.”
The City of Lights Dream Center purchased the old T.S. Boyd School property from the City of Dora and the last year has been a blur of activity.
Last year, COL focused on children in the surrounding communities and the issues of poverty and hunger, according to Massey. The organization will continue working on those areas, but this year they are putting attention on recovery for women.
The plan is to implement a 12 to 18-month program for women with an in-house treatment facility. “We take them through a process of not just recovery but also relapse prevention,” Massey said.
The multi-faceted program is individualized for each client and focuses on body, mind, and spirit.
“It’s not just about detoxing them but getting them healthy physically,” Massey said. The organization has partnered with Cornerstone Gym in Sumiton to help the women get healthy through nutrition and exercise, according to Massey.
Partnerships with Bevill State can help women earn a GED and get job training.
Also, women attend ongoing individual counseling and family therapy to help reunite women with their families.
This part of the program can help women navigate through the court system and help them resolve legal issues, according to Massey.
Women in the recovery program will have a heavy schedule. Mondays are Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery on Tuesdays, church on Wednesday, parenting and life skill classes on Thursday as well as group classes on Friday and Sunday nights, according to Massey.
Helping women find jobs is another priority for the COL recovery program in 2020. The organization has partnered with a business that will provide women in recovery an opportunity to train and work in the food industry.
Massey is saving the details about parts of the program to announce at the Freedom Forward Gala.
The event is September 14 at 6 p.m. and will be held at the City of Lights Dream Center at 23 Austin Circle in Dora.
Tickets are available on the website at www.cityoflightsala.com. Tickets range from $30 to $100. Corporate sponsors can get a table for $1,000. Tickets are tax-deductible, according to Massey.
Kool Kats band is the entertainment. “Senator Greg Reed will do some singing,” she said. Massey’s son Micah Massey who is a Grammy award winner will also perform at the gala.
“We will cast vision at the gala and share a lot about the future plans for recovery and eliminating addiction,” she said.
CUTLINE: City of Lights Executive Director Jamie Massey and Administrative Assistant Nancy Clark with the new Freedom Forward sign at the City of Lights. the Freedom Forward Gala is September 14 at 6 p.m at the City of Lights Dream Center 23 Austin Circle, Dora.