The Panama City Rescue Mission helps the homeless in the community, but they also have a long standing addiction recovery program.
They have had many success stories over the years, but they are making a few changes.
One of the biggest changes is a new program director, Rick Briggs. Briggs comes from Philadelphia were he was the director of a similar program that had a lot of success.
"I believe my expertise and know how can make a good program even better," said Briggs.
The mission is shifting their focus to incorporate a longer and more intensive program that focuses on helping people break their addictions and re-integrate into the community.
They have plans to start a 12 to 14 month program that will require clients to get a job for at least two months before they graduate.
The mission is also doing some renovations of their property. They have already re-done the chapel, they are working on shelter dorms and in a month or so they hope to also have recovery program revamped.
“By the time they graduate, those hidden talents that may have become dormant start to resurface as they grow through the program and we capitalize on those talents and that what bring great success."
Changes at the Rescue Mission also include some changes in personnel.
Reverend Cathy Byrd, former director of the woman's ministry at BethelVillage, stepped down from that role last week saying rescue mission leadership decided to make changes to the program she operated for 5 years.
She is working to create an entirely separate program for woman in recovery.
It’s called Titus-2 Partnership. She says it will be a shorter six month program where woman will work six to eight hours a day on activities directly related to recovery while also doing community service and working with at least two mentors.
Byrd and the board of directors are all volunteer and already have a small home for the program to get started.
"This is not just substance abuse recovery, this is life recovery. Woman have much more need for a broader range of psychological, social, relational, financial and education needs than men do.. So we are prepared to address that wider range of needs,” said Byrd.