Sarah.J.headshotI began working in the social work field with the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) in 2008.  During my seven years with DCS I gained valuable experience working with not only the Juvenile Court System, but also with many different cultures, along with an array of recovery centers for adults and adolescents across the state. I began my career at DCS as a front line staff (Family Service Worker) and worked my way up to supervising multiple foster care case managers, and over 100 children in foster care, as a Team Leader with DCS.  While working with children and families in foster care, I developed a strong passion for working with women dealing with addiction, as well as infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).  In September 2014, I began working as the Director of Community Support & Services at Susannah’s House, in an effort to provide a loving, non-judgmental place where mothers can find hope and healing from addictive issues and life’s hurts, habits and hang ups.

I first became involved with the coalition as a representative from the Department of Children’s Services. After meeting with Karen Pershing, and learning more about the coalition, I knew immediately I wanted to become more involved.  I would love to see the community’s culture shift toward a health and wellness model, in which everyone in the community knows, sees, and lives out their role in preventing the problems Susannah's House Logos V3associated with substance abuse and addiction.




  1. Tell us a bit about Susannah’s House and what you offer?

Susannah’s House is an alcohol and drug treatment program for mothers in recovery.  We are a faith-based organization sponsored by Cokesbury United Methodist Church that exists to serve the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of mothers and their children. We provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment for mothers and their children to achieve sobriety, enhance mother and child relationships, and build better life skills while promoting spiritual growth. We believe destructive cycles can be broken and want to serve women who have the desire and commitment to change. The staff members at Susannah’s House are educated, licensed and trained to work with mothers in recovery as well as their children (ages 6 weeks to 11 years). That’s right….CHILDCARE is lovingly provided while mothers are in our day treatment program! There are volunteers and interns at Susannah’s House as well who are trained to lead groups, be mentors to the mothers, and provide support services to the staff members.  Women who choose to participate in the program at Susannah’s House will be able to receive multiple services on site as well as assistance receiving services off site. There are a number of groups and services that are offered at Susannah’s House to support mothers and their children, described in more detail below:

  • Physical: Susannah’s House strives to meet the physical needs of the mothers and their children by providing referrals to appropriate agencies for housing.  Susannah’s House members also have the option to earn points for participating in activities to use in the Susannah’s House store to purchase baby, infant, and child items, school supplies, clothes and hygiene products.
  • Spiritual: Susannah’s House provides opportunities for members to attend Bible study classes on site.  There is a prayer ministry team that supports Susannah’s House staff, volunteers, and mothers on an on-going basis and is available to support the members as well.
  • Emotional and Mental: Staff licensed in the mental health field are available to provide on-going individual therapy to members at Susannah’s House.
  • Financial: Susannah’s House offers a variety of supports for mothers seeking to manage their financial well-being. Budgeting classes, assistance with creating resumes, interviewing skills and job skills are also offered.
  • Social: Susannah’s House offers an opportunity for members to connect with other mothers in a similar situation and build a healthy support system in recovery, spiritual, educational, and fun classes.  Each mother may request to be assigned a trained mentor for additional weekly support.


  1. What do you love most about your work at Susannah’s House?

I love being able to provide a source of help and hope to mothers and their children. Our heart at Susannah’s House is to reach those who are in the gap, and are under-served by other entities. I love knowing that I am helping a mother find hope.


  1. How can members of the community get involved in Susannah’s house?

We have so many opportunities for members of the community to get involved at Susannah’s House! We have multiple volunteer opportunities for individuals and/or groups. We need regular financial donations and volunteers! Donations can be made to Susannah’s House by visiting and clicking on the GIVE button. Volunteer jobs are available for Office Help (data entry, filing, answering phones), Fundraising and/or Development Activities, Maintenance, Landscaping/Gardening, GED Tutoring, Exercise Instructor, Children’s Activities, and other Special Events.


  1. How can people get in touch with you to learn more about your services?

I can be reached by email at

Office phone 865-200-4759

Fax number 865-315-7044

You may also visit our website at for more information!