A 24-hour prayer line and a structured treatment program designed to help “restore” the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of hurting individuals are helping combat the ongoing epidemic that is known as addiction, according to three area individuals.
Operating under the umbrella of the Hearts of Hope Church and located on Arkansas 282 between Van Buren and Rudy, the Hearts of Hope Restoration House program has two private facilities — one is for men while the second facility is for women and, if necessary, women’s children — to help treat people who suffer from addictions, abuse and other factors that threaten to harm one’s well-being, said Cindy Scott, director for the Hearts of Hope Restoration House.
The faith-based program requires a minimum commitment of three months, six months or longer depending on the individual’s needs and progress, and utilizes Bible study sessions, meetings, “work-day contribution” projects and classes that address addiction, anger issues, parenting skills, financial issues and more, she said. As many as 20 women and 20 men can be served at one time in their respective facilities, Scott said.
“Addiction really is a community problem,” said Scott, who also co-pastors the ministry-based program with her husband, Marvin. “We want people to know that it takes a community to help, and that we are here to help people who are battling addiction and suffering other hurts and abuse. We are here for those people.”
One of the latest additions to the Hearts of Hope Restoration House program is its “billboard campaign,” which started with the placement of the program’s first billboard just south of the Crawford County Detention facility along U.S. 64. The billboard advertises the Hearts of Hope Restoration House’s 24-hour prayer line — the number is (479) 430-7371 and is answered by team members who are “equipped and more than ready” to pray for any needs a person or family might have, according to Cindy Scott said.
“We have a contract to have that billboard up for one year, and we are hoping to have more billboards — one possibly on Highway 59 in Van Buren and one in Fort Smith,” she said. “We don’t receive funding from the government, and we operate on private donations and the kindness of the community. This really is a community effort and we are grateful to be supported by the community.”
Marvin Scott nodded his head in agreement.
“The program fee is $450 per month, but there are some people who can’t afford to pay that; we don’t turn people away,” he said. “We are about setting people free, and we are of the mindset that it’s one thing to be free and clean from the physical stuff, but it takes a type of removal from the mind — the mindset of addiction — to really be free.
“It’s about God’s plan for you,” Marvin Scott added. “It’s about being truly free and truly moving forward.”
The Hearts of Hope Restoration House program also helps individuals who are dealing with court-ordered issues, while residents also are called to participate in work-day contribution projects to “help give back” to the community, Cindy Scott said.
These projects help build self-esteem and a sense of pride within the residents while simultaneously making a positive impact on the community, she explained.
One of the numerous people who have received help from the program since it started 17 years ago is Chris Watson, who is participating in the Restoration House’s transitional program. He currently is studying to become a missionary.
“When I first came to the program, I was shattered because of drugs and other issues, but Cindy and Marvin helped me,” Watson said. “There are teachers here and people who work with you and help you, and I was able to finally get my legs underneath me, so to speak.
“And I am now studying to be a missionary to share the gospel overseas,” he added. “I want to do a couple smaller missionary trips and then do something major. I want to help other people as a missionary. I’d love to do something big.”
Individuals seeking information on the Hearts of Hope Restoration House can call (479) 430-7371.
“I would say that we’ve had probably about 35 people call the 24-hour prayer line so far, so it is helping,” Watson said. “We are just trying to get the word out there that there are people who want to help. Help is here.”
Cindy Scott also thinks the prayer line is helping in the fight against addiction.
“We don’t really have hard statistics here when it comes to talking about success, but that is OK,” she said. “We had one person come back to our program a second time, because they just weren’t ready to go back out on their own.
“But I call that situation a success because that person was admitting he weren’t ready the first time, and he was admitting that he still needs help,” Cindy Scott added. “That individual getting that help and being open to that help again, that is what I call a success.”