Angel House for women celebrates a milestone - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Angel House for women celebrates a milestone

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Shelby Richards is celebrating one small step in a long road to recovery. She's been clean and sober for 30 days.

About two weeks ago, she moved to the Angel House in Waterloo to hopefully stay that way.

"Love it. It's pretty much saved my life," Shelby Richards said.

Richards started using drugs and alcohol at age 14, but after more than six years of causing so much hurt to others and herself, she was ready to change.

"I'm tired, honestly, of being a bum. I wasn't doing [anything] with my life, and I have so many goals and things I want to accomplish. Where did I let that go?" Richards said.

Shelby and nine other women are going through programs in a stable environment to live a life free of alcohol and drugs.

"These are just regular gals, like you and me, that have made some bad choices and have now decided to make dramatic chances necessary and do the work to have a responsible and productive life," Angel House Executive Director Julia Baldwin said.

She said the goal is to prepare the women to be on their own within six to 18 months. Angel House isn't just a roof, she said, it's a resource if the women are willing to use it.

"We all have our crutches, and if we all really sit and think about it, [we] can understand and empathize with the ladies and we all have something we need through the day. It's just the consequences are different," said Baldwin.

Richards is participating in meetings and looking for a job. She said living at Angel House will only help her recovery.

"These girls, they get it. They've either been through it or something like it. It makes it so much more comfortable, and you can open up about things. I wouldn't open up to anybody else," Richards said.

One of Richard's first goals is to finish high school. Then she wants to go to college to work with people with special needs.

Angel House relies on donations to remain operational. Right now, the house is looking for a washer and dryer.

You can help raise money for Angel House and solve a murder by attending a Murder Mystery Dinner.

The dinner is Thursday, July 14th from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Waterloo. The cost is $20.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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