In her free time, Bryant Miller Olive’s Jackie Bell provides social, educational and spiritual assistance for women impacted by poverty, substance abuse and lack of education in the Florida Panhandle.
Jackie is volunteer co-leader of Stepping Stones, a women’s ministry of the Pensacola-based nonprofit Pathways for Change that is dedicated to the healing and transformation of women. The group’s vision includes establishing long-term residential treatment centers for women working toward wholeness and healing.
Pathways for Change recently secured a matching pledge grant of up to $200,000 for the purchase of a residential treatment facility in Pensacola for women veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The organization anticipates being fully funded prior to the scheduled opening of July 1.
The residential facility’s comprehensive 18-month treatment program will provide a therapeutic community where women veterans can receive individual counseling, outpatient substance-abuse treatment, benefits assistance and education and vocational training.
In Escambia County, there are about 3,000 female veterans, 12 percent of whom have a PTSD diagnosis. According to the local VA case manager, two to three women each week are discharged from the PTSD unit with nowhere to go. There are too few facilities that house women without children and even fewer that have the clinically sound treatment program that Pathways for Change offers.
“These women have made unimaginable sacrifices to protect our freedoms,” Jackie says. “I am thankful to be a part of the work of Pathways for Change in its efforts to provide a secure community and a strong foundation where each veteran can focus on putting her life back together.”
To learn more about the work of Stepping Stones, the women’s ministry of Pathways for Change, click here.
Many Bryant Miller Olive team members are involved in the community, and the firm makes a priority of providing the flexibility needed to pursue such involvements.
**Photo caption: Jackie Bell (left) with volunteer staff member Carolyn Richardson at The Family Center of Pathways for Change.