When Angel Watson Holmes talks about her ministry, OneLife, it is immediately clear she is passionate about helping women get on a path of success. Holmes enthusiastically explained what OneLife Ministries does for women in search of a life free from addiction and homelessness.
She knew the need for a women’s program in Blount County. But it was three years ago when she said God spoke to her leading her to start a program here. Trusting in God, she started OneLife and the program has been a huge success.
Upon entering the program, each woman is given a binder with all of the material they will need for class, as well as a care package of hygiene products. Some enter with little to no belongings so Holmes provides them with all the necessities. Her kindness doesn’t stop there; she speaks one-on-one with each woman, getting to know them and their stories, passing no judgment and never turning anyone away.
“Our program is four phases; each phase is 90 days long. The women spend time in the classroom learning the word of God, ways to cope with problems, and volunteering outside of the home,” she explained.
OneLife currently has 24 women in the program who all reside together with Holmes at their facility in Blountsville. OneLife is a no-cost rehabilitation program running solely on donations from the public. Holmes utilizes the Bible and other texts to teach in the classroom. The women in the program speak of experiences and talk through what brought them to OneLife.
Through a partnership with the Oneonta Public Library, they are also able to take free online computer courses that provide them with skills and computer knowledge necessary for getting a job. Holmes’ goal is to equip each woman with a strong foundation of the word of God and the tools they need to live happily and successfully when they have completed the program.
Gretchen Matthews, formerly of Madison, came to OneLife after years of addiction. She has been at OneLife now for seven to eight months. Matthews said the program, “Literally saved my life,” explaining she lost everything — her kids, her family, her life.
If she could provide advice to someone facing addiction she said, “Don’t be scared; there is a better life. You have to want it. I didn’t think I was worth it. I thought I was just another addict. You are worth it; lean on God.”
Kaela Hogeland, 29, entered the program just four months ago. “I was ready for a better life,” she said. “I lost my kids, my friends, my family… I lost my life.” Kaela said she would tell those who are wrestling with the fear of asking for help, “You have to want it. It is a change of lifestyle and a whole different mindset.” To make it through the tough times she reminds herself, “I am worth it. I am forgiven. My past does not define me.”
OneLife is in need of a new facility to house program attendees in Blount County. They also need paper products, toiletries, food, and other items such as paper, pens, and pencils. If you would like to make a donation to OneLife or if you need help, please reach out to Holmes at 205-493-3443.