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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Opal's making a better community

  • Opal’s House aims to break cycles of poverty, abuse, and other destructive life trends.r
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  • We regularly write about the gems of Cleburne County and unlike a diamond mine that has a finite number of gems; Cleburne has its gems and creates new ones.  Another potential gem has been added to the county in the form of Opal’s House.  Director Susan Cutshall sat with The Sun-Times to let our readers know about the mission of Opal’s House.
     
    “Our mission at Opal’s House is to provide a safe and nurturing atmosphere for women to live during a transitional time in their lives,” said Cutshall.  “Opal’s House wants to meet immediate physical needs like shelter and food while investing in long term assistance with career guidance, life skills, and spiritual encouragement.” 
     
    “We want them to come in with the understanding that they are accepting help to make their situation, their lifestyle better,” continued Cutshall.  “For a lot of people, what we’re finding is that this is a place to break cycles.”
     
    The concept of Opal’s House began early this year when a group of women sat together over coffee and began to map out their vision to help single parent households in Cleburne County.   Through the support of members of our generous community, Opal’s House was up in running three months after the concept was imagined.
     
    Opal’s House aims to break cycles of poverty, abuse, and other destructive life trends.  Rather than focus on women that need emergency and other immediate assistance that Margie’s Haven House does so well, Opal’s aims to help women that are transitioning from past abuse, both mental and physical.
     
    “It could be something that because they experience physical abuse ten years ago, or sexual abuse, or anything, then their current circumstances have reflected into what has happened in their past,” said Cutshall.  “Their process of getting into a new lifestyle may include counseling to clear the path so they can make better steps as they are going forward.”
     
    “You don’t necessarily have to be homeless or jobless or anything to come to Opal’s House,” continued Cutshall.  “We just want people to have an openness for change.”
     
    Board members for Opal’s House are Sherry Farneth, Melanie Grayson, and Jenni Prince.  Board member at-large is Netta Thomas and House Manager is Vetta Pollard.
     
    Opal’s House is faith based in origination and spiritual encouragement is an integral part of their mission, though help is not contingent on the faith of those seeking help.  Their doors are open to any woman that needs their assistance and is seeking a change in direction for their life. 
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    “Spiritual direction is a component of what we encourage as a foundation for a better life,” said Cutshall. “But it’s not a criteria for our help.  We won’t shut our doors to people because they aren’t spiritual.”
     
    With a solid foundation and mission, and a strong desire to help their friends and neighbors in Cleburne, Opal’s House is on track to be another gem that area residents can point to with pride.
     
    When we spoke with Cutshall, the house was in need of a few items.  The wish list included a toaster oven, mixing bowls, spatulas, baking dishes, vacuum, toilet bowl brushes (3), dry & canned goods for the pantry, 4 dining chairs for the dining table, paper goods (toilet paper/paper towels/napkins/Kleenex), 2 dressers, side tables, and coffee tables.  If you would like to help Opal’s House with their wish list, or if you are a woman who feels like Opal’s House can make a difference in your life, call Susan Cutshall at 501-270-2843.
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