You might have heard of Restoration House, founded by Theresa Klacman in 2008. The home has literally helped hundreds of young women who are facing alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm and depression.
Theresa herself struggled with sexual and physical abuse and the depression that was a product of that. She knows what these girls are feeling and what they need.
In her 40’s, Theresa turned her life over to the Lord and changes began, including setting her on a path to help women.
When I interviewed Theresa, I was shocked to hear that 9 out of 10 women who come to her were raped before the age of 13.
For most people, helping others begins with sending a check, donating clothing, supporting via an auction or other fundraising areas, but Theresa is on a whole different level. She actually brought these girls into her own home. At first, it was one at a time, but at one time she had 20 women staying in her home. Who does that?
She learned a lot through different ministries and classes, so now she is housing four to five women. At one point, she gave up her bedroom and slept in the laundry room.
I have to tell you that when I heard that, I awarded Theresa “sainthood.” No way would I give up my bedroom to sleep in a laundry room, that is crazy. But after talking to Theresa, you know she is crazy about the Lord and helping others.
She introduces structure into these women’s lives and they are encouraged to sign a list of rules which includes staying for six months, no dating, and no going out unless accompanied by chaperones. Phone privileges are earned, they may write letters when they earn that right and, if after 60 days, they are on track, they may earn one weekend pass. Because they have experienced so much trauma in their lives, they are counseled, learn the Bible, go to church and work on their lives. They do not go to school or work outside their home.
Her program works because Theresa and her staff give everything they have to make it work.
Theresa says that if they can get them at an early age, introduce them to Jesus, they can be transformed and they can change.
One of her means of supporting this house has been, RHM Gleanings, a thrift shop at five corners in Victoria. It is not your traditional thrift shop, but then again, Theresa is not typical either. If a family in need comes to the thrift shop, the staff knows to give them furniture and goods for free. The girls who live at Restoration House and homeless teens can shop there for free clothing.
Three days a week, there is a mobile shower trailer for the homeless in her parking lot. They provide the users of this trailer with packets of soap, shampoo and conditioner and they also are given a free change of clothing they can pick out from the store.
Upstairs at the thrift shop, thanks to the efforts of Deborah Rendon and Theresa, there is a small room for homeless teens. They can wash their clothes, pick out a new pair of jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, underwear, backpack and more. Theresa and her staff scour the donations and make sure the cutest and best of teen wear is upstairs for them to choose from. You see, Theresa ran away from home at 13, was homeless and knows what that feels and looks like.
Upstairs, they also have prom dresses for the homeless. At the Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine celebration in town, they supplied over 200 prom dresses for special needs teens.
I would imagine that most of you are reading this and are like me. How in the world does this woman do all of this and we have no clue that it is even here? She would be the first to say that she is surrounded by an amazing group of volunteers who have worked with her to make this happen.
So many people talk about what the problem is, what needs to be done and even sends a check but how many of us get out of our comfort zone and really make a difference?
If you meet Theresa, she looks and acts normal, very easy going, at ease talking about her past life and how Jesus has changed her and others. I spend most of my time talking to her with my mouth hanging open in amazement.
So now what??
If your heart was touched, if you want to help the poor and troubled women and teens in Victoria, you know what to do. Victoria’s St. Theresa has proven that it only takes one extraordinary person with a vision to make it happen.
You may contact Theresa at 361-676-3588, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RHM Gleanings, the thrift shop, is located at 1204 N. Moody St. Victoria, Texas, 77901, and the number is 361-485-0123.
If we all do a little, much will be accomplished.