Angel Manor offers a safe place to start over

TERRY ORGAN/Miner<br>
Veronica Hall, left, holds her 3-month-old son, Joshua, and Shannon Ervin caresses her 8-month-old son, Tyler, as another son, Johnathan, 7, sits beside her Thursday at Angel House. Angel House is a rehabilitation facility for women who have had drug or alcohol abuse problems.

TERRY ORGAN/Miner<br> Veronica Hall, left, holds her 3-month-old son, Joshua, and Shannon Ervin caresses her 8-month-old son, Tyler, as another son, Johnathan, 7, sits beside her Thursday at Angel House. Angel House is a rehabilitation facility for women who have had drug or alcohol abuse problems.

KINGMAN – Women with past drug or alcohol problems have found a safe haven as they get their lives back in order.

Wendy Weaver founded Angel Manor in August 2001. She rents rooms in her home to women, some with children, as they walk a road to recovery.

“If Angel Manor didn’t exist, I’d probably still be using drugs and perhaps living on the street,” said Shannon Ervin, who has resided there the past nine months.

Ervin said she is attending Mohave Community College full time and studying for a degree as a chemical dependency therapist. She has another 18 months of study to go.

Veronica Hall has lived at Angel Manor the past seven months. She said she had both drug and alcohol addictions in the past but has been “clean” since 1999.

Hall also is taking chemical dependency courses at MCC and expects to earn a therapist degree in 12 months.

“Without Angel Manor I’d probably be selling drugs to support my kids because I’m considered unemployable,” Hall said.

Merri Gussin has been at Angel Manor for just three weeks, though it is her second time there. “I first came here in April of last year and left in July to be a live-in babysitter for another girl that had been here,” Gussin said.

“The situation became unbearable and Wendy allowed me to return.

“I’d be dead from drugs by now without Angel Manor.”

Opening Angel Manor was something God led her to do to aid in her own recovery from drugs and alcohol, Weaver said.

A total of 193 women have resided there since she opened Angel Manor nearly five years ago at 3239 Potter Ave., on the corner of Marshall Drive as a clean and sober living environment. There presently are seven women and an equal number of children there.

The women are charged $84 per week in rent with a sliding scale applied to the fee if they have children. Weaver said she can’t justify asking more because many of them are struggling as is.

Most women living at Angel Manor stay only a few weeks and find employment. Others are on disability and stay longer as they learn to budget their money, Weaver said.

Each adult resident must have an intake session at Mohave Mental Health and stay in compliance with any group counseling sessions or medications prescribed, Weaver said.

Adult residents are required to participate in a 12-step program with Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous as appropriate to their individual circumstances. They obtain a sponsor into one of those programs.

“They also must stay clean and sober and be willing to support themselves,” Weaver said.

AA meetings are held at 7:30 a.m. daily at Angel Manor. NA meetings take place there at 7 p.m. each Monday. Thursday night meetings at the same time are to begin next week.

At 5:30 p.m. each Saturday, an AA potluck supper is held with a guest speaker talking at 6 p.m.

All meetings are open to the public. Anyone wishing information on meetings may call 757-7972.

The women also attend outside meetings with Child Protective Services and Arizona Families, which provides one-on-one instruction in parenting, Hall said.

In addition to Mohave Mental Health, Angel Manor gets some assistance from Cornerstone Mission and the Kingman Area Food Bank.

But keeping the facility open is not easy. The plumbing is being replaced and swamp coolers need new motors in the trailer housing Angel Manor. Last year, the roof was re-done but some portions of the ceiling have fallen and need replacement.

Weaver is putting her faith in God that the finances will work out to make everything fall into place.

Despite that, no woman is denied a place at Angel Manor. If a bed is not available, couch space is found for her, Weaver said.

Any woman wanting more information may call Weaver at 530-9812.

“This is the only place in Kingman where women can go for detoxification,” she said. “There’s no time limit on how long they can stay, whereas most places you’re done in 90 days. You can stay longer here to save a little money and learn about budgeting.”

Hall said there should be more places in Kingman like Angel Manor as there are women wanting to get off drugs who are walking the streets with nowhere to go.