With proper treatment, individuals with drug or alcohol addictions can lead independent, productive lives. Without treatment, however, the cycle of addiction is likely to repeat itself into future generations. Hope House, a long-term residential and outpatient treatment facility for women 18 years and older with substance abuse and mental health disorders, helps to break those patterns.
“Addiction is a treatable disease,” says Karen Saltzman, the Hope House executive director. “People can recover and go on to live healthy lives.”
Since it was founded in 1992, Hope House has grown from a small house to a 42-bed facility in Augusta. Serving almost 2,000 individuals in its 25-year history, Hope House helps homeless single women, pregnant women and mothers who are seeking to retain or regain custody of their children.
“Hope House is one of those behind-the-scenes, tremendous resources for many women needing assistance, which is a broader problem than most people realize. I praise the Lord for an organization like Hope House, which is truly making a positive impact on society,” says Phil Alexander, founder of Calling Post.
The award-winning facility offers three main programs – Ready for Work, Therapeutic Childcare and Supportive Childcare. All residents are evaluated by a psychiatrist, screened for medical conditions and attend counseling sessions and classes. They can stay at Hope House for 12 – 24 months, but the average length of stay is nine months.
“Women are able to bring their children with them, and that makes Hope House unique in the CSRA,” Saltzman says. “Nearly 100 percent of the people who stay in the program regain or retain custody of their children, and 75 to 80 percent of the women go back to work.”
While counseling and other services are provided at no charge, individuals in the residential and intensive outpatient programs must pay up to 30 percent of their income from employment, Social Security, etc., to cover expenses.
“In the past nine years,” Saltzman says, “the demographics have changed tremendously.” Instead of treating primarily older, low-income women with addictions to crack cocaine or alcohol, the patients increasingly are from middle class families in surrounding counties and suffer from opiate addictions.
Women can be referred to Hope House for treatment, or they can register themselves online. For more information, visit hopehouseaugusta.org.