MOREHEAD CITY — The MirIAM, a nonprofit Christian ministry that provides housing and recovery assistance to women struggling with substance abuse issues, will own a new campus in Newport.

“This property will house our residence and center and has ample space for important outdoor activities to enhance our program of recovery for women struggling with addiction,” The MirIAM Executive Director Tami Thomas said March 15.

To celebrate the good news and the past seven years of ministry, The MirIAM will host an open house tea from 2 to 4 p.m. March 19 at 1100 Arendell St.

Thomas said the nonprofit will showcase plans and some photos of their new home but will not provide the specific location for security purposes.

Women who have been served by the program, as well as volunteers and board members, will also be available to discuss the project and answer questions.

The move will be in early May, but there are many preparations and needs to be met ahead of time, according to Thomas. For now, The MirIAM is renting a house from a church.

The faith-based organization is raising funds to renovate the new facility for group home living. Needs include a generator, emergency lighting, a mower, fencing for privacy, window blinds, indoor carpentry for residence/center separation and security, parking signage, weather proofing the floor in an outbuilding, a new garage door and chairs and tables for the women.

Thomas, a retired drug detective, started The MirIAM seven years ago and began accepting women into the residency program five years ago. Since that time, she and her volunteers have assisted about 200 women who were struggling with substance abuse addictions.

As well as being referred by the court system, Thomas accepts referrals from families, churches and more.

The program offers six-month, one-year and two-year options. The organization offers faith-based teaching, group therapy, individual therapy, creative arts, life skills, music therapy, family and recreational programs.

Those who have been served by the program, such as Jillian Tetterton, 33, say it has turned her life around.

“I was living in my car and thought that was normal,” she said, referring with her struggles with substance abuse.

Tetterton, who recently graduated from the program, added, “When I came here, it was like the family I never had. I never had sisters, and it feels like I have five sisters.”

She continued, “I didn’t know what a sober life looks like. This place teaches you you can handle life and stand on your own two feet. You can be renewed. It’s not super easy. I’ve been to other rehabs, but this is like none of the others. It’s nothing but God.”

Tetterton is in the process of getting a job and plans to attend Carteret Community College in the fall to receive a degree in human services. She’s also received her Peer Support Specialist license.

“I’d like to get into counseling,” she said.

Those wanting to donate toward the effort at The MirIAM can go to or mail checks to The MirIAM at PO Box 162, Morehead City, NC, 28557.

In addition, people can purchase items from The MirIAM’s Treasures thrift store at 102 Industrial Drive in Morehead City.

Plus, volunteers are always needed.

Thomas thanked all of the churches, volunteers and supporters who helped The MirIAM provide help to women.

For more information, contact The MirIAM at 252-725-3030 or email


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.


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