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Lindsey House provides safe haven for mothers coming out of crisis

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The floor fell out from under Tara Peterson less than two years after she started on a path to success.

Graduating a prison diversion and drug rehabilitation program, the 34-year-old had welcomed her second child and made it a year and a half into a new marriage when she learned of her husband’s affair and continued criminality.

It was “different,” she recounted, packing up her belongings, taking her children and walking away from an active marriage.

“That was the thing my mom never did for us,” Peterson said, referencing her childhood steeped in neglect and abuse. “She always made us stay there.

“I knew I couldn’t do that to my girls because I knew what it felt like to grow up in a household with addiction, and I couldn’t let that happen to them.”

Peterson remembered hearing of Lindsey House while working through the Women in Recovery program, and that’s where she headed.

The transitional living center best functions as a next step for mothers who have completed drug or alcohol therapy, President and CEO Maggie Hoey said: Once women are out of “crisis” mode, they can begin to learn in a stable environment how to live.

“Housing is critical,” Hoey said. “We know that the families cannot focus on solving the other problems if they don’t have a roof over their head.”

Women with legal custody of at least one child under the age of 18 receive a sponsored, fully-furnished unit at the nonprofit’s complex and are held to a high level of accountability through weekly meetings with case managers while covering curriculum that includes financial literacy, life skills and workplace proficiency, Hoey said. Once income is established, the women pay monthly into a savings account, the sum of which is returned upon move-out.

There are two-dozen independent units for 24 moms and their children at the complex, which yields a generational impact as children also grow in a stable environment. Hoey said more than 40 children currently call the complex, designed by Tulsa-based KKT Architects, home.

With space to breathe — and a sizable kitchen island that happened to be in her unit — Peterson could explore some of her passions, one of which she has since grown into a small business. Through T’s Tasty Treats, Peterson sells homemade desserts and treats that run the gamut of the imagination: gourmet marshmallows, themed cakes, hot cocoa bombs, chocolate-dipped-and-drizzled everything and even fruit pizzas.

She also works as a community-based doula for the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative.

Lindsey House tenants are required to remain in the program one year but may stay up to two years. Peterson is approaching her year mark but, still seeking to repair her marriage, doesn’t yet plan to venture out.

“I came out of Women in Recovery with a foundation, and I was strong and I could stand tall and I felt very good with where I was, who I was; everything,” Peterson said. “I didn’t know that I was going into the trenches. I had no idea that whenever I went home that it was not a safe place.

“What I do know is that I’m safe here, I feel level-headed here, I feel stable here, and I know that I’m not ready to leave that.”

The Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation is currently matching financial contributions to Lindsey House dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000, Hoey said.

Those interested in donating, adopting a family for the holidays or learning more about the nonprofit can visit lindseyhouse.org.


Where you can give: Tulsa-area nonprofits

The Tulsa area has been ranked among the most philanthropic communities in the country. Ahead of Giving Tuesday, this featured charity and list of other area nonprofits may help generous Oklahomans figure out where to make holiday contributions.

Addressing hunger

Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

okfoodbank.org

Who they are: The largest private hunger-relief organization in eastern Oklahoma that seeks to feed the hungry of the region through a network of partner agencies and engage with communities in ending hunger.

Hunger Free Oklahoma

hungerfreeok.org

Who they are: Works to bring a unified, statewide voice to the issues and solutions surrounding hunger, with a goal to ensure all Oklahomans have access to affordable, nutritious food.

Iron Gate Tulsa

irongatetulsa.org

Who they are: Seeks to feed the hungry of Tulsa—every day. We feed people in three ways: through our soup kitchen, grocery pantry and Kids Pantry.

Food on the Move

foodonthemoveok.com

Who they are: A mobile food initiative designed to create a collaboration of food, health experts, and community partners to mobilize good quality food into food deserts, helping combat hunger and food insecurity in Tulsa and Oklahoma

John 3:16 Mission

john316mission.org

Who they are: An interdenominational Christian ministry that endeavors to be the "hands and feet of Christ" to the homeless, hungry, poor and at-risk of the Tulsa community.

Serving mind and body

Mental Health Association Oklahoma

mhaok.org

Who they are: Advocacy group that represents people affected by mental illness and homelessness in communities throughout Oklahoma. Rapid Response Homeless Outreach team offers street outreach care packages.

Mend Pregnancy Resource Center

mendpregnancy.org

Who they are: Provides pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound, pregnancy options information, education and support programs for moms of children 3 and younger.

Hospitality House of Tulsa

hhtulsa.org

Who they are: A Christian-based organization that provides lodging and support services to families traveling to Tulsa for critical medical care from a distance of 30 miles away or greater.

Porta Caeli House

portacaeli.org

Who they are: Compassionate end-of-life care, when dying at home is not an option.

Ronald McDonald House

rmhctulsa.org

Who they are: A space where families can eat home-cooked meals and enjoy private bedrooms so they can stay near their hospitalized child for the duration of their medical treatment.

Clarehouse

clarehouse.org

Who they are: Charity that provides a loving home and 24/7 care for dying people in need.

Helping in many ways

Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma

cceok.org

Who they are: 14 programs for those in need including food, clothing, dental care, pregnancy care, adult education, counseling, transitional living, adoption, refugee resettlement and immigration legal assistance.

Salvation Army Tulsa

salarmytulsa.org

Who they are: A Christian-based organization that seeks to feed, clothe, comfort and care for those in need.

Broken Arrow Neighbors

baneighbors.org

Who they are: An interfaith organization that provides basic-needs emergency assistance to more than 13,000 financially disadvantaged people in the Broken Arrow area.

Stable families

Family & Children’s Services

fcsok.org

Who they are: Organization that helps families in crisis and serves people struggling with mental illness, addiction and homelessness.

Family Safety Center Tulsa

fsctulsa.org

Who they are: Provides help, resources and legal assistance for victims of domestic violence.

Help for youths

The Little Light House Inc.

littlelighthouse.org

Who they are: Christian developmental center for children with special needs.

Emergency Infant Services

emergencyinfantservices.org

Who they are: Provides assistance to children 5 years old or younger and their families.

Tulsa Boys’ Home

tulsaboyshome.org

Who they are: Serves boys, ages 11-18, with serious emotional, behavioral and/or drug problems requiring long-term placement out of the home in a structured, therapeutic environment.

Youth Services of Tulsa

yst.org

Who they are: Provides a wide array of services to help teens and young adults through difficult times including homelessness.

Fostering Connections

fosteringconnectionsok.org

Who they are: Partners with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in Tulsa and contiguous counties by providing resources and building community.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma

gseok.org

What they do: Build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Community Outreach team helps girls challenged by socioeconomic or high-risk life situations.

Empowerment

The Center for Individuals With Physical Challenges

tulsacenter.org

Who they are: Provides organized social, cultural and recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

Ability Resources

abilityresources.org

Who they are: Assists people with disabilities in attaining and maintaining their personal independence through advocacy, education and service.

Just the Beginning

justthebeginning.org

Who they are: Christ-centered organization designed to empower women who have gone through the criminal justice system.

League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa 

facebook.com/LWVTulsa

Who they are: Nonpartisan nonprofit encouraging civic participation through education and advocacy while helping parse major public policy issues.

ahha Tulsa

ahhatulsa.org

Who they are: Organization that seeks to make the arts accessible to all of Tulsa’s diverse populations.


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Staff Writer

I write because I care about people and peace, and I believe the most informed people make the best decisions. I joined the Tulsa World in 2019 to cover breaking news, and I currently cover crime and courts. Phone: 918-581-8455

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