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Hope House-Part One


An alternative treatment for women recovering from substance abuse is available in Springfield. KSMU's Emily Nash looks at a transitional housing facility, and explains what makes this kind of treatment different from others.

Looking at Hope House from the outside you wouldn't imagine it was a rehab facility.

Placed in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood, the house is a tool for women recovering from chemical addictions.

Hope House is a transitional housing facility for women who have received in-patient treatment for drug and alcohol addictions.

Nina-Smart Dixon is the Counselor Supervisor at the Carol Jones Recovery Center and helps facilitate the Hope House.

"Hope House is an extension of Carol Jones Recovery Center which is an extension of Alternative Opportunities. It's a safe place to come recover. Being in treatment for 30 days, getting your residential part done or your level one out completed, and going back into the same environment where you came from is not a good set up for recovery."

Hope House opened in February 2006 and has hosted 30 women.

The house can hold seven women at a time, but currently hosts three.

To live at Hope House, a woman must be 30 days clean from her addiction, provide a one hundred dollar deposit, and be in treatment at the Carol Jones Recovery Center

For six months women can live there and use the house to become financially independent, chemical free, and rebuild healthy support systems.

While staying at Hope House, they are expected to get a job and open a savings account where 45 percent of their earnings are put.

Dixon says, the stability Hope House offers, allows the women to become reconnected with their families

"Family members begin to trust them when they see that they are stable and that they are stable. And that if they call here on a regular basis they are going to get the phone answered. And they are going to hear that they are there and doing well. So, consistency, a place to be consistent."

Dixon says, after the first phase of treatment, triggers and temptations can cause relapses.

She says, having 24 hour support from the women at Hope House can prevent relapses from happening.

"There are situations that occur that create a trigger. And if you don't have a place that you can run to, for safety, then you're probably going to follow through with that trigger to use. But having a place where you are if a trigger occurs and then you begin to crave and you can come to your home and you can have somebody walk you through that whether its 10 minutes whether its all night or whether its all week. You've got support. For as long as you need it to get through that time period."

While the women live at Hope House, Dixon says, they follow a set of house rules.

"You come in by curfew, you make sure you are attending your treatment hours, and that you are seeing your counselor, you make sure that your chores are done, and you make sure that you stay clean. That's pretty much the rules around here. You respect one another, and you follow the rules. The fact that we set up a comfy atmosphere so that you do feel free. "

The rules are supervised and enforced by the house mother, Rebecca.

"My name is Rebecca and I'm the house mother. I oversee the workings of the house I make sure all the rules are adhered to, I try to maintain a secure, safe, comfortable atmosphere at the house for the ladies."

Rebecca has been the house mom since Hope House opened and lives in the house with the three ladies.

If a woman chooses to not follow the house rules, she is asked to leave the house immediately.

Dixon says, Rebecca is responsible for investigating suspicious behavior in the house.

"Rebecca has the hard task of exiting women from the house. She also has the hard task of confronting behaviors. Sometimes when the ladies aren't doing what they are supposed to be, or suspects that they are doing something they aren't supposed to be. The people they are hanging out with are questionable. Her job is to call me and share those things with me and then I in turn talk to the ladies. She is the only staff member here, so having firm boundaries is tough at times when you are here and you are living with the ladies and there is no staff person for you to bounce things off of."

About ten out of the thirty women have been exited from the house which is average According to the Carol Jones Recovery Center.

But Rebecca says those who have followed the steps and used the Hope House, have overcome their addictions, and maintain a positive lifestyle.

"It's rewarding to see the ladies success and become more open and positive in their lifestyle. I believe is a stepping stone to becoming independent with a positive way of life with a different way of life."

Join us tomorrow as we talk with several women who have lived at Hope House.