CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WMBB) — A growing ministry based in New Orleans is setting up more roots in the panhandle.  

Crestview resident Cindra Reyba donated 40 acres to the New Orleans Mission. The ministry will create the Still Waters Project. 

The area will be developed into a gated and guarded community to help women and children escape domestic violence, addiction, or sex trafficking lifestyles.  

“What we see the most of is addiction. And so the vast majority of people we have coming in are addicted. And that of course. Quite often leads to homelessness and leads to other things and psychological problems, and it all kind of builds upon itself,” said development coordinator Karl Frank. “This is somewhere they can come and be safe and a long-term residential recovery program and also have their children with them.”

The land will be set up with two and three-bedroom homes to keep families together. Still Waters will also have a cafeteria area and a playground.  

The New Orleans Mission recently opened the C.H.R.O.M.E. ministry in Marianna to help men with addiction and other lifestyle changes.  

“We only had a soft opening in January and not a normal ribbon cutting until June 2nd. We already have over 60 men in the program and we are in need of actually doubling our capacity and we’re working to those ends now. So we fully expect by the end of the year that we’ll have 120 to 130 men in the long-term residential rescue and recovery program,” said Frank. “So the need is here and I think the need is everywhere sadly, in the nation but the need is here.”

“We’ll have the capacity to accept women from all over the Panhandle and probably regionally as well, just as our enrollment mission operations in Louisiana do. We actually now have people from all over the country that come in. So we expect to see the same thing here,” said Frank.

The mission said they see a great need here in the panhandle and were called to give a helping hand.  

“If anyone out there has someone who’s struggling with addiction you have somewhere to take them. We take everyone. We like to encourage everyone to know that don’t try to figure it out yourself, don’t try to decide whether or not this person really needs our help or not, bring them. Bring them to us and we’ll figure that out,” said Frank.

The mission staff said they plan to break ground in 2023 for phase one- bringing in the infrastructure.  They hope to host women and families in 2024.  

Read more about the project online.