You may have heard of Restoration House, founded by Theresa Klacman in 2008. The house has helped literally hundreds of young women struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm and depression.
Theresa herself struggled with sexual and physical abuse and the resulting depression. She knows how these girls feel and what they need.
In her 40s, Theresa committed her life to the Lord and changes began, including setting her on a path to help women.
When I interviewed Theresa, I was shocked to learn that 9 out of 10 women who come to see her were raped before the age of 13.
For most people, helping others starts with sending a check, donating clothes, supporting through an auction or other areas of fundraising, but Theresa is on a whole other level. In fact, she brought these girls to her own house. At first it was one at a time, but at one point 20 women were staying at her house. Who do this ?
She learned a lot through different ministries and classes, so now she hosts 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 this, I granted Theresa “holiness”. No question of me abandoning my bedroom to sleep in a laundry room, it’s madness. But after talking to Theresa, you know she’s crazy about the Lord and helps others.
She introduces structure into the lives of these women 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. Telephone privileges are earned, they can write letters when they earn this right, and if after 60 days they are on track, they can earn a weekend pass. Because they’ve been through so much trauma in their lives, they’re counselling, learning the Bible, going to church, and working on their lives. They don’t go to school or work outside their homes.
Her program works because Theresa and her staff give their all to make it work.
Theresa says if they can get them at an early age, introduce them to Jesus, they can be transformed and they can change.
One of his ways of supporting this house has been RHM Gleanings, a five-corner thrift store in Victoria. It’s not your traditional thrift store, but again, Theresa isn’t typical either. If a family in need comes to the thrift store, the staff know how to give them free furniture and goods. Girls who live at Restoration House and homeless teenage girls can buy free clothes there.
Three days a week there is a mobile homeless shower trailer in his parking lot. They provide users of this trailer with packets of soap, shampoo and conditioner and they also get a free change of clothes which they can choose from the store.
Upstairs in the thrift store, thanks to the efforts of Deborah Rendon and Theresa, there is a small room for homeless teenagers. They can wash their clothes, pick out a new pair of jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, underwear, backpack and more. Theresa and her staff go through the donations and make sure the cutest and best teen clothes are upstairs for them to choose from. You see, Theresa ran away from home at 13, was homeless, and knows what it’s like and what it’s like.
Upstairs they also have ball gowns for the homeless. At Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine celebration in town, they provided over 200 prom dresses for teens with special needs.
I imagine most of you are reading this and are like me. How the hell is this woman doing all this and we have no idea it’s even here? She would be the first to say that she is surrounded by an incredible group of volunteers who have worked with her to make this happen.
So many people talk about the problem, what needs to be done, and even send a check, but how many of us step out of our comfort zone and really make a difference?
If you meet Theresa, she looks and acts normal, very easy-going, comfortable talking about her past life and how Jesus has changed her and others. I spend most of my time talking to him with my mouth wide open in astonishment.
If your heart has been touched, if you want to help poor and struggling women and teenagers in Victoria, you know what to do. St. Theresa of Victoria has proven that it only takes one extraordinary person with a vision to make this happen.
You can contact Theresa at 361-676-3588, or email [email protected]
RHM Gleanings, the thrift store, is located at 1204 N. Moody St. Victoria, Texas, 77901, and the number is 361-485-0123.
If we all do a little, a lot will be accomplished.