‘Crossover’ to aid women by May

Published 11:54 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In less than a month, Crossover Ministry will open its doors to women.

Crossover, located on Hwy. 52 East in Opp, is an eight-month, faith-based recovery program that includes four months of residential treatment and four months of aftercare. The facility provides a working and study environment and requires participation in daily Bible studies and focuses on life skills, like money management and GED classes.

In the four-plus years of its existence, Crossover has been a male-only facility. On May 4, its doors also will open to women with addiction problems, executive director Todd Sasser told members of the Andalusia Rotary Club Tuesday.

Typically, Crossover has about 18 men in its residential program. Sasser said he expects to have eight women in the first class.

“The women will be living above the men,” he said. “They have their own showers, their own classroom, dorm and kitchen.”

Weekdays, the men and women will be off campus on opposite days, he said. Women will work in the Christian Service Centers in the county on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, days the men spend in class. Men will work in the Crossover produce stand and do other work on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Sasser said the non-profit, faith-based recovery mission manages to feed 25 people three meals a day for less than $300 per month.

“We’re able to do this because churches bring us leftover hamburgers or people drop off cakes for the residents,” Sasser said. “We don’t receive any grants. This is God’s ministry and we believe He will provide for His ministry.”

Crossover Ministry board member Walt Merrell said it is the generosity of the people of the Wiregrass area that funds the ministry.

“It costs about $10,000 a month to operate,” he said.

The program is open to anyone 18 or older who has an addiction problem.

“We don’t treat any one addiction,” Merrell said. “We’ve had people who were addicted to pornography, sex, gambling, alcohol and drugs.

“Ours is a Christ-centered addiction and recovery program,” Merrell said.

To apply, those seeking help must write a letter to the organization stating why they seek Crossover’s help.

“We get letters that are two paragraphs and letters that are 20 pages,” he said. “The letters are reviewed by a three-member panel of ministers.”

The identity of those three ministers is kept confidential, he said, so there is no lobbying for admission.

“We generally have a waiting list of 45 to 60 letters,” he said. “Of those, there may be only 30 eligible.”

Crossover’s goal is to try to find treatment programs for those they can’t accommodate, he said.

The group will hold its annual banquet at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., April 23, in the fellowship center of Opp’s First Baptist Church. Tickets are free, but places need to be reserved by April 17. For information, call Crossover at 493-1030.