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Transition Center Gives Women, Children Fresh Start

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Damita Parsley, 51, stands outside her temporary residence with the Center for Women in Transition in Champaign, Ill. on Jan. 16, 2013.

Damita Parsley, 51, stands outside her temporary residence with the Center for Women in Transition in Champaign, Ill. on Jan. 16, 2013. (Sean Powers/WILL)

An Urbana thrift store that’s tied to Champaign’s Center for Women in Transition recently expanded. Money from the store supports services for women and children.

Damita Parsley, 51, has lived in one of center’s shelters for the last year and a half, longer than any of the other current residents. Parsley was a heroin addict for more than 20 years, and had various run-ins with the law. After she was released from prison, the center offered her a fresh start when she felt like she had nowhere else to go. 

Parsley plans to move into her own apartment within the next couple of months. She also said she will continue coming back to the center for support meetings.

She told Illinois Public Media’s Sean Powers that she’s not going back to her old life.

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