Women’s ministry founder looks to expand

By Alyssa Donovan

March 31, 2013 Updated Mar 31, 2013 at 10:56 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- One local woman is working to give more women with criminal history a fresh start.

Less than a year ago Sharon Collins opened One Body One Purpose Ministry, a Christian home for women.

Collins said, “The purpose is to work with ex-felons to get them training and get them jobs and get them employable again. Our goal is that when these ladies leave here they leave employed, rooted and grounded in Christ, and into their own place."

Now Collins is setting her sights on a new, larger location, the old Pi Beta Phi house near Bradley University.

Collins says women need a safe place to be paroled to so they can get a fresh start, but there is just not enough room in their current location.

Collins said, “Where we at now we can house 5 women. This house has 16 bedrooms. Do you know how many souls will come through here and I just thank God for it."

The house will be able to hold 15 women and one staff member.

Board Member Carolyn Imhoff has worked in Prison ministry for the past 4 years.

She says for some, finding a home after prison is the hardest part.

Imhoff said, “When they get out they need an address to parole to and if they don't have an address to parole to then they have to stay in prison."

Collins says they are depending on funds from the community and local churches to help make her dream a reality.

And while the house has not been purchased yet... Collins has big plans for the big space.

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