Golfers tee up to help Home of Grace

Golfers headed to the fairways of The Preserve Golf Course in Vancleave this morning for the annual Home of Grace Classic.

And they’re teeing off with a purpose, as the the tournament raises money for the ministry that helps men and women struggling with addiction.

Home of Grace has two facilities in Jackson County and helps between 5oo and 600 men and women from across the country overcome addiction each year.

“What they do is actually quite remarkable,” said Andy Swoger, CEO at Keesler Federal Credit Union. “That takes folks that are so far down and out and they transform them into members of the community that are healed. For example if you thought about a doctor bringing someone back from the dead it would be a miracle. These guys do that everyday.”

Hunter Harris with Home of Grace said it’s rewarding for the staff,  to see how the program changes the men and women who come through.

“These guys come in and speak at the chapel and influence us and give us positive influences and positive reinforcements day in and day out,” he said. “They help us just change our lives and experience joy in our hearts for the first time in a long time.”

Josh Barton, Executive Director for Home of Grace said a young man that came through recently was changed by his stay.

“Last week, we had a gentleman just 17 years old that went through our program and he got his GED. He was homeless before he went through our program,” Barton said. “He’s now set up to go to welding school at MGCCC.

“He actually had never had a bed before going through the Home of Grace.”

With opiod use on the rise across the country, the resources offered by Home of Grace are needed now more than ever.

“During COVID, isolation and extra money is a really bad recipe for addiction,” Barton said. “Individuals that have been struggling already with depression and anxiety, they become isolated and extra money in their pocket sometimes becomes a bad issue. We’ve had a lot of individuals reach out because of that.”

Home of Grace needs $1.5 million each year in donations so they can continue to offer scholarships. The golf tournament is the organizations biggest fundraiser and they’re hoping to raise $125,000 today.

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