'Drop In' plans to expand
Hilltop Recovery Ministries provides services, meals for women suffering from abuse, homelessness and addiction
Tanya Roper, executive director of Hilltop Recovery Ministries, stands in front of the day center at 819 S. 5th Street. Hilltop currently offers services during the day, Monday through Thursday, but Roper plans to expand the center into a transitional housing center for women suffering from emotional and physical abuse as well as addiction. David Stone photo
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
When Tanya Roper decided she wanted to help homeless and abused women, she set up shop in the back of her car. Now, Hilltop Recovery Ministries provides myriad services to those in need from a south Temple office and has plans for expansion.
“I’ve been doing this since 2012,” said Roper, executive director of the organization. “I started in Kaufman County and moved to Bell County in 2019. When I started here I was operating out of my vehicle, then I had some office space at Impact Church before we got this building.”
Roper’s ministry occupies the top floor of a large building at 819 S. 5th Street she shares with two other charitable organizations.
“The women who come here call it The Drop In,” Roper said. “That’s because it is a day-time facility, but we’re in the process of raising money to purchase this building. I would like to provide transitional living space for the women we serve. It would be a dorm-style facility with space for two women in each room.”
Roper works with women to help them overcome life struggles. Some of the women seeking help have been victims of human trafficking — other victims of domestic violence. Many have histories of addiction, mental illness and homelessness.
“We create an individualized plan for each woman, and we assist them to meet their needs,” Roper said. “If they don’t have a current ID, we help them get one. There’s not much you can do if you can’t prove who you are. You need an ID to get a job, fill out paperwork for assistance or get a driver’s license. It’s important.”
Hilltop Recovery Ministries also provides assistance in getting a GED and finding jobs.
“Thanks to a community grant we secured from the city, we have a four-station computer lab the women can use for job searches, taking classes, handling court cases and digital counseling,” Roper said. “We have four volunteers who work with me to provide assistance.”
Roper’s ministry also offers group therapy and a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous that meets at least once a week — more often if needed.
“Our recovery program is open to all struggles, not just addiction,” Roper said. “We provide help and counseling as often as necessary.”
The center has showers available to women who want to freshen up, and clothing and undergarments can be provided.
“We have a washer and dryer, but they haven’t been hooked up yet,” Roper said. “We have the space, but we need some help with wiring and plumbing work done so we can hook them up. That way we will be able to provide laundry services in addition to showers.”
Roper and her staff provide breakfast and lunch to the women free of charge, and they provide coffee and snacks throughout the day.
“The women who come here want to improve their lives,” Roper said. “They aren’t mandated by a court to come — it’s something they want to do.”
Last year, Hilltop Recovery Ministries provided services to 60 women in need, and that number is growing.
“We are holding fundraisers to help raise the $50,000 we need to start the purchasing process for the building,” she said. “The building will cost more, but we can get the ball rolling with $50,000.”
“This is a fabulous location for a transition shelter,” she said. “We’re close to the services they need — food, clothing, medical. We are near Workforce Solutions, food pantries, the Bell County Annex and Social Security.”
To jump start the building fund, Hilltop Recovery Ministries will host a banquet on June 25 to “empower these women to live in freedom.”
The event will include a catered meal and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 per person or $400 for a table of six, and it will be held at Cultivate Events & Enrichment, 2603 Trade Place in Temple.
To purchase tickets, or to learn more about Hilltop Recovery Ministries, visit www.hilltoprecoveryministries.org and click on the “Donate Building” tab.
“At Hilltop Recovery Ministries, we assist young women in finding the tools necessary to live a life free from bondage,” she said. “We teach them to become self-supportive. Our goal is to offer a healthy way of life centered around faith, hope and love.”
MONDAY | MAY 9, 2022
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