This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.

Jennifer Waller said she was completely shocked when a local husband and wife came into her office at Freedom House earlier this week and offered to donate the $250,000 needed for Freedom House to purchase a home for the men’s installment of the Freedom House mission.

Waller is the founder of Freedom House, a faith-based women’s recovery home. Since August, she’s been actively pursuing funding and resources to create a recovery home for men. She said she’s been applying for grants and fundraising, and was even getting ready to take out a loan this week for the purchase of Soldotna home that Waller envisioned as the men’s Freedom House location.

“This was the time,” Waller said. ” We literally have men dying on the streets of overdoses.”

Waller said the purchase of the home should be wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, and she anticipates renovations to begin next month. She said she is hoping for an early 2019 opening.

The home site is between Soldotna Emergency Services and Wells Fargo, and within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops and businesses along the Sterling Highway.

Freedom House has seen other recent growth as well, with the expansion of the new Hope Wing, which services mothers with children.

Residents have the opportunity to support Waller’s Freedom House efforts on Thanksgiving through a Turkey Trot fundraiser. Sign up for the 1- or 3-meter run or walk starts at 9 a.m., and the race will begin at 10 a.m. Entry fees are $10 for youth, $20 for adults and $50 for families. Thanksgiving dessert prizes will be given as a reward, and all proceeds will benefit Freedom House.

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