Garden of Hope Fundraiser with Aaron Meyer

A faith-based residential recovery home for women opened its doors here last month, and a benefit concert with rock violinist Aaron Meyer will be held March 4 in Happy Valley in support of the new program.

Garden of Hope opened its doors the first week of February. The home is for women who struggle with substance abuse or life-altering issues. A house manager will be living with up to eight women in the three-bedroom, three-bath house located in a southeast Gresham neighborhood.

According to Jill Leitner, president of the non-profit, the women with supervision will run the home. “Nothing will be done for the residents that they can do for themselves.” The program is very structured and the women will not be free to come and go. “They will be good neighbors.”

Potential residents will be screened. They will have gone through detoxification and/or addiction treatment prior to being accepted into the program. They must be 18 or older. In some cases the women may be homeless and will have lost everything.

“This program is for women who are ready to discover and deal with root causes of addiction,” said Leitner.  “They are ready for the chance and willing to do what is necessary to pursue health.“I’m excited because I like to work with women who are seeking help. Though there are a lot of hard steps ahead, it is pure joy to see a woman reach her goal of sobriety and discover herself.”
As women’s program director, Janene Soderquist’s responsibilities are many. In addition to living in the house full time, she will oversee one-on-one counseling, case management, The Genesis Residential Program and volunteers. Volunteers will teach life skill classes, guide the 12-Step Program, and lead recovery classes and Bible studies.

Garden of Hope gained its non-profit status more than a year ago and fund raising is an on-going process.  “No woman will be turned away for lack of funds,” said Leitner.  “Our fund raising campaign is underway to provide service for women who desire change.”

The concert is 7 to 9 p.m. at the “Aerie” at Eagle’s Landing Golf Course, 10220 S.E. Causey Ave. in Happy Valley.  Meyer and his accompanying musical group will perform cutting-edge original compositions and arrangements.  Refreshments will be served at the concert break.

Tickets are $35 advance or $40 at the door.  For ticket information, phone Garden of Hope at 503-758-0407.  For additional information visit their website

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