Franklin County woman devotes life to helping women overcome drug addiction

Jocelynn James is raising money to open the first full-service rehabilitation center in Franklin County.

Posted: Oct 2, 2019 5:58 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2019 7:15 PM

WAAY 31 has an update on a story we first brought you last summer. It's on the journey of a Franklin County woman, Jocelynn James.

James is devoting her life to helping other women overcome an addiction that she faced. Now, her big dream is one step closer to reality.

Jocelynn James

Local music artists donated their time and talent. There were food vendors, prizes and face painting for children. The event is called "Singing for a Soul."

"Everything that we have raised. All the sponsorships that we have raised from this event, "Singing for a Soul," all of that money still goes towards the goal for a building," Jocelynn James said.

The money that James is working to raise is dedicated to opening the first full-service rehabilitation center in Franklin County. It's exclusively for women who are working to overcome drug addiction. James says it will be called "The Place of Grace."

James said she also knows from experience how badly a program like this is needed. Addiction once led her down a dark path.

"My name came across the TV screen and was like, 'Franklin County's Most Wanted, Jocelynn James.' I just threw my hands up and I'm like, 'I'm tired.' I called the sheriff and asked what to do. He said, 'Come turn yourself in,'" James said.

James said as she worked to overcome addition to opioids, she felt there was a lack of services that cater to women and their experiences.

Mindy Woodard is a recovering addict. She said she met Jocelynn James while she was in jail while battling an addiction to drugs. She says Franklin County desperately needs a service like what James is working to create.

"It's an amazing idea. We need to have something local that females can cling to. We don't have anything like that around here, and it's sad that there's so many women in the community who you talk to that wants something. With it being so far away, it's a drive and it's so expensive. If they had something here, we could all benefit from it," Woodard said.

James said so far, she has raised more than $20,000 toward her effort to open "The Place of Grace." That's up from the $8,000 she had when we first met. James said her goal is to open the facility by next year.

"The goal is about 100 grand and that will purchase everything. The property that we're wanting in Franklin County is 600,000. That's the big picture, $600,000.

James said she won't give up until she reaches her goal and "The Place of Grace" becomes a reality.

Alabama recently received two grants totaling $400,000 to alleviate rural opioid abuse. Forty states received grants of $24 million in total as part of an initiative to implement prevention, treatment and recovery programs for substance use disorders in rural communities.

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