Welcome Home Women

Testimonial Details

Going to Jail Saved My Life

Going to Jail Saved My Life

DONNA NICKEL, one of the original four Welcome Home Ministries woman, credits WHM for helping her break the cycle of drugs, prostitution and abuse that defined most of her life in Oceanside.

"Going to jail saved my life," she said. Being jailed also meant meeting the Rev. Carmen Warner-Robbins back in 1996. "Without Welcome Home Ministries (WHM), I couldn't have made positive friends," said Nickel, whose record contains at least a half-dozen jail sentences. "You get down so low. But Carmen is somebody who has some hope for me and doesn't see me as a bad person."


Nickel has spoken before community groups about Welcome Home, and was one of the WHM woman who originally accompanied Warner-Robbins to Sheriff Bill Kolender's office to report on the program's progress. "I thanked him for letting me be a boarder of the county," she joked. "Before, I never would have been able to talk to someone of that caliber."

Since that initial meeting, WHM and the Sheriff's Department have become very involved. Donna Nickel was given an office at Las Colinas Jail in order to have continual access to the women who now reside there. She had a goal to save each and every woman, as she can see herself in their eyes. She has also gotten her record expunged which was a huge accomplishment.