DETROIT (WJBK) - "My motivation is to really see people succeed and it is something embedded in me it is in my heart," said Shawna Reynolds.
FOX 2 first introduced you to Shawna Reynolds last year, a county jail deputy who has been working to help former female inmates break the cycle of addiction, homelessness and a life of crime.
Through private donations and using her own money, she opened About Face Course Correction. It's a place non-violent female offenders can go when they are released from jail as they work to turn their lives around.
"Not only are we providing things for people to get over addiction, but we can provide people a chance to build bridges burned, trust again and hope people need to have and hope they should have," said Reynolds.
About Face Course Correction helps with everything from helping the women get their education, or a job to pay off their fines, to counseling. The women also get classes and spiritual guidance.
"I was a mess before now," said Naquisha Sims. "Without being here I don't know where would be."
Sims is one of the women we followed for months and is also one of Shawna's first success stories. At 20 months sober, she works as a caregiver, is completing her community service and has reconnected with her family.
"What helps is knowing somebody cares for you that's going to stick it out even though she is pretty busy herself," she said.
Unfortunately, the Dearborn house Shawna was using to help these women was sold by the landlord. A coworker donated a Detroit house rent free, but it needs a lot of work.
"We need everything plumbing heating cooling literally rebuilding inside structurally it seems to be just fine," Shawna said.
Shawna is proud of her work over the last year. Four out of the five women who went through the About Face program succeeded.
Karen is no longer homeless, after spending years in and out of jail. Patty is off probation, paid all of her fines, is working and plans on going back to college. Another woman, who stayed anonymous, is working, sober and also reconnected with her family.
Unfortunately, the youngest girl in the house couldn’t break her heroin addiction.
"We offered what we could and unfortunately she wasn't at the place yet," Reynolds said.
Reynolds understands the challenges with this new house. She hopes to expand her program, hoping to have at least 12 women living in this house at one time.
Reynolds, who is a mother of two, still works as a part time jail deputy and professor. The rest of her time is dedicated to helping women do an About Face.
"Donations, stuff donated," she said. "People help us out so we can put it together goal before it gets too cold.
"The goal get the women off the streets and going back to their lifestyle to do that have to have a place for them to go."
For more information go to https://www.aboutfacecc.com/