FOX21 News and the American Red Cross are partnering once again to honor some Hometown Heroes–businesses and individuals who exemplify courage, kindness, and unselfish character. In this story, we’re highlighting Marilyn Vyzourek, creator and director of Gospel Homes for Women.
Gospel Homes for Women is a safe haven for those struggling with addiction issues or going through other difficult times.
“There are so many girls that are in jail or prison and when they get out, they have nowhere to go,” director Marilyn Vyzourek said.
Vzyourek has spent more than two decades helping women who are addicted to drugs or alcohol find their way to a healthy place.
“When I see her, she not only is taking on the burden herself, but she is willing to teach, she’s willing to train, and she is willing to sacrifice, and that is truly an angel,” volunteer and board member Holly McGraw said.
Vzyourek runs two homes that currently assist 16 women. These women have direct assistance during a six-month program, but it’s their relationships that will last a lifetime.
“Seeing someone succeed, seeing someone put their family back together, seeing someone stay sober and focused on the Lord, and focused on what they need to do in their lives, being a good parent,” Vzyourek said.
Their purpose is to demonstrate a sober, Christian lifestyle, and encourage the women as they leave a difficult past behind and start a new chapter.
“You do not become a drug addict unless there is a hole in your heart that only Jesus can fill,” Vzyourek said. “It doesn’t feel good to be sober. They are trying to fill that hole so it doesn’t hurt.”
“My life was going down a bad path, and I would have ended up on the streets or dead if it wasn’t for Marilyn,” resident McKaylynn Sporchich said.
One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Each year, Colorado Springs police receive more than 15,000 domestic violence calls. It’s staggering facts like these that can lead to women knocking on the doors of Gospel Homes for Women.
“Even after I leave this program, I am still going to have Marilyn,” resident Katherine Langevein said. “I am still going to have the other volunteers. And that’s better than anything I could hope for.”
“The world needs more Marilyns running around,” McGraw said. “That’s one thing she hopes to inspire, is other people to come alongside.”
Hometown Heroes will receive their awards during a dinner at The Broadmoor on March 15.