A New Beginning

Taylar Prince, a local makeup artist, working in the field for nine years, is pleased to announce the first annual wedding giveaway.

Her vision is to “pay it forward” by providing free services to a bride who has gone through tough times.  She has always wanted to do something for someone who has overcome, sending the message that good things happen when you don’t give up. Taylar heard about a story of two people in long term recovery from addiction who turned their lives around and fell in love.  This hit home for Taylar because she too had people in her family who have struggled with addiction. She decided to give this year’s wedding giveaway to Joan Sganga and Jake Murphy. This is their story.

“I took my first drink when I was 14 years old and used my first drug shortly after. I wasn’t able to stop until I was arrested and lost everything,” said Joan. She felt hopeless and out of control but was unable to quit drinking on her own. After Joan was accepted into the Richmond County Drug Court Program, it was suggested that she enter into a treatment facility. She was then accepted into Hope House but had to go through detox first. “Once my body was free of substances, I returned to Hope House where I slowly learned a new way of life. They challenged my way of thinking, which I desperately needed. I was taught how to live life and have fun without the use of alcohol and drugs,” she continued.

Much like Joan’s story, Jake also struggled with addiction at a young age. “At the age of 16, I decided I’d drop out of school because I was more interested in getting messed up with my friends; at 17 I was in jail. I still didn’t realize I had a problem,” said Jake. At the age of 21, he had a little girl and thought that would be enough to make him change, but it didn’t take long for the same patterns to repeat. It took him losing everything to get the treatment that he needed. “The Hale House was exactly what I needed. It was a structured environment that taught me how to live life responsibly and be accountable for my actions,” said Jake.

Joan has been in long-term recovery since May 31, 2014 and Jake has been in long-term recovery since May 20, 2013. They were recently engaged in July 2016. The two met at a recovery meeting and began dating in January 2015 and a healthy relationship formed between them that neither had experienced before. Jake was immediately attracted to the fact that Joan set healthy boundaries for herself. “It showed me that she loves herself and gave me an idea of how to love her,” said Jake. Today Jake and Joan are both productive members of society who have a passion for their recovery. They both attended separate treatment programs, Hope House for women, and Hale House for men, that helped them gain the tools necessary to sustain their recovery.

About Hope House

Hope House, a Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ Women’s Treatment and Recovery Services site and a United Way agency, provides services to women with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, and its program allows the residents to keep their children with them as they complete their treatment. Each woman leases her own apartment at The Highlands West, the permanent supportive housing facility run by Hope House that can house up to 42 women and their families at any time.

About Hale House

In 1990, two Augusta businessmen and friends, Sam Sibley and Hampton Walker, had a dream to establish a recovery residence for adult men challenged with alcoholism and drug addiction. Years later, this vision continues to provide an opportunity for these men to have a better life and chance to heal. This has become the core purpose of Hale House Foundation. As a result of this compassion and vision…it all started with a single house and one recovery residence tenant. Since then, Hale House has grown to 5 houses and 48 residents.

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