One Way Out: Helping women step into new lives
Jeanie Turner is the executive director & founder of One Way Out Ministries. However, she is also known as another name: Night Club Pastor. The name isn’t due to the fact that she is lounging around nightclubs belting out old favorites and sipping cocktails, instead Turner frequents nightclubs for other reasons. She reaches out to exotic dancers and prostitutes and their children, as well as prison inmates, alcoholics, drug addicts and any other women who are looking for ways out of bad situations and into healthier lifestyles.
Turner’s quest began 18 years ago when, during Bible study and under the mentoring of her pastor’s wife, she began reaching out to girls on the streets.
“I knew if women didn’t receive the help we were offering, they would end up in one of three places: in jail, in the hospital or dead,” said Turner. She also knew that helping these women was something she could do because she had been through many hardships of her own, including addictions and multiple marriages. Her pastor helped her to become ordained through World Bible Way Fellowship. Turner also later became credentialed as a chaplain through the National Chaplain for Women-International, and now works as a jail minister at the Lee County Stockade Facility.
“The girls we visit are prison bound short of a miracle from God,” said Turner who has witnessed many miracles over the years.
“Julie” is one such miracle. She was a dancer, a drug addict, and a victim of physical and emotional abuse.
“You name it, I have probably been there,” said Julie who knew, deep down, that she needed a purpose.
“I was walking around aimlessly in the world,” explained Julie who first met Turner while she was in jail. Once she got out of jail, Julie was mentored and supported.
“They helped with my resume, which helped me get a job,” said Julie, who also joined groups offered through the Through One Way Out Ministry, such as Bible studies, life support group and step recovery group.
“I also received help navigating the legal system, and I received family counseling and marital counseling, and I also got help with housing, clothing, and toys for my children at Christmas.”
Julie is now gainfully employed and lives in Turner’s “Transformation Home.”
“I get to be around women of great faith daily; they are my sisters growing with me,” said Julie who also stated that she sees amazing blessings every day.
Operating three women’s homes, one in Cape Coral “The Healing Safe House” and two in Fort Myers, the “Jewel Box” and the “Transformation Home,” along with managing a team, composed of an assistant, two drug and alcohol counselors and a string of volunteers, doesn’t come without a price. As with everything there are many costs involved.
That’s why Turner opened Second Chance Upscale Resale, a gently-used thrift store in Fort Myers.
“It helps quite a bit, but we still have to raise a lot of funds,” said Turner.
Turner stays busy managing her ministry with rarely a day off.
“I participate in jail ministry every Saturday with 30 women and we also have two meetings per week for new women,” said Turner.
This holiday season she gave out gifts to 75 dancers and their children.
Turner also works with The Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and has many good working relationships with judges and attorneys-thanks to her long-term relationship with the courts.
Because of Turner’s dedicated efforts, hundreds of women have turned their lives around.
“If you want to turn your life around then start making one better decision at a time,” said Julie who explained that it is also important to let someone else help out. “It’s too hard to do it on your own, so let One Way Out Ministry help you or find another group to help you, but allow someone to help you” she added.
How can you help:
-Make a tax-deductible online donation, become a volunteer, shop at the thrift store, donate your gently used items (free furniture pick-up) or cars: www.secondchanceupscaleresale.org/
For More Information:
One Way Out
1413 Colonial Blvd.
Second Chance Upscale Resale Thrift Store
413 Colonial Blvd.(Just before the Midpoint Bridge in Fort Myers.)