AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to officials with Angel’s Safe Home, about 12,500 women are released from Texas prisons each year. Officials added that although women make up 16% of prison release there is a lack of resources for women, that is where Angel’s Safe Home plays a part.
“Angel’s Safe Home is a place for formerly incarcerated women or women who have made bad life choices that need a place to come and heal. It’s a place where there’s a lot of healing going on where women can come with your children,” said Angela Burrell founder of Angel’s Safe Home. “If we have the accommodations they can come with your children, and we help them with as many resources as we can.”
Burrell first found a safe home in Los Angeles called “A New Way of Life” after incarceration where she would meet founder Susan Burton.
“I was watching Secret Millionaire when I saw A New Way of Life project on, and I wrote them, and they accepted me, and it was a safe home. I was able to go, I got off parole, got a job. I learned how to use the computer. I had a great support system,” said Burrell. “I moved back to Amarillo. And after moving back to Amarillo, and there not being a safe house here in Amarillo, Texas. Susan Burton, the founder asked me if I would start a safe home here in Amarillo.”
Burrell said, when she first was incarcerated, being in the environment weighed on her mental health.
“From the day you walk into the jail, you start thinking about what you’re going to do when you get out. That’s where you are mentally. The problem is, is that you don’t have a support system like that when you’re incarcerated, they don’t rehab you or help you,” said Burrell.
Kayla Bryan is a current tenant of Angel’s Safe Home who was living in New Mexico but was charged on the state line leading her to be sent to prison in Texas.
“I got released from prison and got put on parole. And they sent me here to Amarillo, Texas. So, I didn’t really know anybody. I didn’t have any family. So, when I got out of the halfway house, I had a place to stay, but that fell through,” said Bryan. “And I had got pregnant close to a couple months after I got out. So, before I had the baby, I heard about Angel’s Safe Home, and I contacted them, and they opened the doors to me right away.”
Bryan said that since finding Angel’s Safe Home she has been able to make a lot of progress in her life.
“I mean, a lot of progress has been made. I got a driver’s license now. I got rid of all charges in other places. I got a good job. And I mean, they’ve been there for me emotionally and when it comes down to like resources and giving me rides to work and stuff like that,” said Bryan. “So, I’ve been able to make a lot of progress.”
Bryan said when she first was sent to prison she was upset and felt that everything was just bad luck, but with time she realized that it was a blessing in disguise.
“If I weren’t incarcerated, I would be out on the streets still doing everything that I was doing something worse could have happened. Ever since I came across Angel Safe Home, everything is just kind of falling into place. And you’d be surprised at how easy things start going when you’re just doing what you need to do,” said Bryan. “Don’t worry about yesterday, don’t stress about tomorrow, just one day at a time.”
Bryan talked about what was next for her.
“I guess what’s next is after I get my son into daycare, after he’s old enough, I’m going to go back to work. They plan on promoting me to crew leaders, so that’s a good thing. And then I guess I’m going to get my own place,” said Bryan. “And then I’m working on getting my other two kids back in my life. But everything seems to be going pretty well right now.”
To find out more about Angel’s Safe Home and how to donate you can visit their website.