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Home director: ‘Now the fruit is speaking’

The directors of the Doll’s House Mission Home for Women believe after laying the foundation for their program for years it’s now time for the fruit of their labors to bloom.

“This is a jubilee celebration. We’ve been laying the foundation for seven years and now the fruit is speaking,” Executive Director Stephanie Turner said.

The fruit — graduates of the program — will speak at a benefit dinner Thursday night. Funding from sponsorships, ticket sales and donations at the dinner help fund programs at the mission.

The benefit’s doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30 p.m. Single tickets are $30 each. Dinner will be served.

This year’s theme is “When Your Fruit Speaks,” and a trio of Doll’s House graduates will give their testimonies about the program, which provides transitional housing to women recovering from abuse. Lawanda Stovall graduated from Doll’s House in 2015, while Tayla Blount and Tiffany Clemmens graduated in 2018 — all three women went on to enroll at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The keynote speaker will be 15th Circuit District Judge Prentiss Harrell, who presides over court in Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion and Pearl River counties. Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall is also a special guest.

Turner said Harrell will speak about Clemmens’ success following her participation in his drug court program to enrollment in Mississippi College.

The Doll’s House — properly known as the Darlene Slater Rehabilitation Center for Women — focuses on an eight-step program that includes personal development, vocational training, substance abuse counseling, interpersonal skills, personal and spiritual development, community involvement, leisure activities and independent living skills. The goal of the center is to rehabilitate and “disciple” women with an aim for reunification with their families.

MDOC is allowing Turner to teach a transition class for women at the Rankin County facility. Clemmens, Blount and Stoval recently spoke at one of those classes.

“It was so amazing that while Tiffany was giving her testimony there, one of the ladies stood up in the middle of her testimony and just cried. She told Tiffany that she might not have remembered that they had done time together several times. And just to see her, being able to graduate, it gives her hope because she’s going to be coming out soon.”

Tickets can be purchased by calling 601-291-8757 or at the door.