TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls nonprofit that helps women overcoming addictions has a new director and staff.
Kristy Backus has been director of Jubilee House for about four months, after the previous director left for a job in Florida. And the rest of the staff is new, too.
Jubilee House is a 12-month, faith-based residential recovery program for women with drug and alcohol addictions. It accommodates up to 10 women at a time. The nonprofit doesn’t receive any government funding and relies entirely on donations and private grants.
Open for nearly a decade, Jubilee House has launched a new fundraising campaign called “Simply Give.”
The nonprofit hopes to reach 500 people who’ll give $20 per month to help operating expenses. That includes housing costs, food and clothing for program participants.
“That’s just to sustain these women,” Backus said.
The nonprofit also accepts donations of items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies and food.
Backus was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and said she struggled with drugs and alcohol years ago. At age 40, she realized things in her life weren’t going like they were supposed to.
She became a born-again Christian and turns 66 years old this year. Recovering from an addiction is a process, she said.
Backus previously launched and operated several Curves for Women branches in Idaho. Most recently, she spent five years at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center — three as a patient coordinator for the Mountain States Tumor Institute.
Her pastor approached her about the director job opening at Jubilee House. After some thought, she figured the job could be a blessing.
Jubilee House has three staff members, including Backus, plus three night employees. All of the staff members are new, and they’re all part-time except Backus.
Women in the program live in a historic home that used to be on Shoshone Street until it was moved behind Community Christian Church on Grandview Drive. A long gravel road leads to the house, and there’s a garden outside where women grow produce.
“It helps them to recover in a safe place,” Backus said. “We put people back into the community that are healthy.”
The age of women in the program typically ranges from 18 to those in their 40s. About 90 percent are court-ordered to complete the program and are felons, Backus said, but some come by their own choice.
It’s not a jail or lockdown-type facility, Backus said. There are employees on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If women are court-ordered to live at Jubilee House, the staff will call their probation officer if they leave the property.
Said Backus: “These girls are amazing.”