Imagine being released from prison with the promise and hope for a better future. To leave a jail cell and walk through the doors of Seeds of Hope – a warm and welcoming home where the women and staff are focused on your recovery and helping you live your best life. To start a job and start your life over. Then, COVID-19 happens and your wages are cut and you fear for your life because you can’t pay the $105 weekly program fee that covers living expenses, food, transportation, and basic needs. You carry around a heavy burden and worry about surviving this crisis – until you, and the 14 other women living in the home, hear that Women’s Fund of Central Indiana provided Seeds of Hope with an emergency grant to cover expenses for every single resident.

“I can’t begin to tell you what a blessing and a gift of survival this grant is to all of the women at Seeds of Hope,” explained Marvetta Grimes, Executive Director. “It gives me such hope and joy knowing that other people care about some of the women who are struggling and who have added struggles that this virus brings them. It was absolutely priceless to see the relief on their faces when they were told their fees were taken care of and they can focus on their recovery. That’s a blessing – a true blessing.”

Seeds of Hope is one of the grateful recipients of a generous $10,000 grant from Women’s Fund emergency grants designated to support women and girl serving organizations affected by the impact of COVID-19.

Located on Indianapolis’ near-Westside, Seeds of Hope is a structured, personalized program for women recovering from addiction. Today, there are 15 women living in the house ranging from 18 to 51 years old, who are chemically dependent and come from all walks of life. Seeds of Hope is not just a “house” they live in; it is a “home” that offers a safe, loving, family-like environment where the women build new sober and responsible lives for themselves. One unique aspect of the organization is that every staff member knows exactly what these women are going through because they’ve gone through it themselves. Marvetta is 20 years sober and credits Seeds of Hope for saving her life.

“These women come here scared with their lives turned upside down because they’ve hit rock bottom,” said Marvetta. “I know because that was me. I walked through those doors 20 years ago a completely different person than who I am today. I can’t imagine how everything going on in the world right now is hurting them.”

COVID-19 is yet another crisis these women must face. Some have lost their jobs, others have had their wages cut – all of them have a fear of being able to pay their program fees to stay at Seeds of Hope. However, that fear was wiped away when Women’s Fund granted the organization the emergency funds to cover the fees for each woman staying at Seeds of Hope.

“I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing this funding is to our women,” said Marvetta. “Without it – and without the ability to pay their fees – I’m afraid to say that some of our women would leave us and return to the streets. Women’s Fund, without knowing it, has saved the lives of the women staying with us.”

The stay-at-home mandate and social distancing are a challenge with 15 women living under one roof, but the staff at Seeds of Hope are all doing what they can to make the women feel comfortable, ensuring that they maintain their support systems, and that programming and therapies continue for each woman.

Marvetta is taking on the tremendous responsibility of making sure the women at Seeds of Hope feel safe and are cared for during this pandemic. “My staff is awesome and together we’re going to get through this. I have faith!”

To learn more about Seeds of Hope and their stories of success, visit seedsofhopeindy.org.

Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) Fund, distributed $106,390 emergency grants to support women and girl serving organizations affected by the impact of COVID-19.