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Project Connect is now LifeSPRING

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River Edge program that serves women and their children grows!

Timika Hunt, 33 of Warner Robins, said it's tough undoing 20 years of addiction, incarceration and bad decisions.

"At age 13, that's when I started to go astray," she said.

In March 2011, Hunt found herself in prison, addicted to crack cocaine, and pregnant with twins.

In August, she gave birth to Zachary and Zykira Hunt, a beautiful pair of healthy, drug-free babies. She said that's thanks to Project Connect, a drug rehabilitation program at River Edge Behavioral Center in Macon that provides 20 women and their children with therapy, job resources and housing.

"We have group therapy from 9 to 2," said Hunt. "It just teaches you that you have to deal with your pain and the only way you can overcome your addiction is you have to be honest with yourself."

By January, Project Connect will move to a new 18,000 square-foot building that will house all aspects of the program under one roof and will help almost twice as many people. Tiffany Russell, community affairs manager for River Edge, said the new program in the new center will become Lifespring.

"Lifespring stands for life, shelter, purpose, recovery, including the next generation," said Russell. "It's not just about the women. It's about the children."

Russell said expanding the program gives more women a second chance and the whole community benefits.

"What people don't realize is that when these women are not in treatment, they're in our jails," she said, "The LEC, it's close to a hundred dollars a day per inmate. And so what we're trying to do is to stop that process because the taxpayers pay for that."