A fresh start: Well House takes in troubled teens battling abuse, drugs

LAKE CITY — Ashley Hall needed to be freed from her past, but bouncing around from home to home, state to state, it just kept following her.

Running low on options, she turned to church. Church turned her to The Well Freedom House. And that has turned her into a new woman.

Teens like Hall that are in need of refreshing their life and purpose now have a place to go in The Well Freedom House, a camp for high school to college-aged youth. The nonprofit camp, founded by Chuck and Cherie McDonald, helps teens battling drugs, physical and sexual abuse, depression and peer pressure.

Hall, 20, originally from Tennessee, came to The Well House last November with a history of abuse spanning virtually her entire life in one form or fashion.

The first time she tried to commit suicide was at 7 years old because of abuse she endured. Her circumstances led her to the edge of homelessness, moving state to state. In 2009, she moved to Florence, to live with her father and mother, where she attended high school and started “hanging out with really bad people,” she said.

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