Volunteers of America to open addiction treatment center for pregnant women and mothers in Columbus

Columbus will have a new addiction treatment option for pregnant women and mothers with children when Volunteers of America Indiana opens Fresh Start Recovery Center by early 2019.

Volunteers of America Indiana (VOAIN) today announced the purchase of the building at 703 Washington Street to house the facility. The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) financed the $875,000 purchase as part of its $1.2 million loan that will also allow for renovation needs. Columbus Regional Health Foundation will provide $200,000 of additional funding.

The 23-bed residential facility will provide addiction treatment for expectant women and mothers with up to two children under the age of five.

“Many treatment programs separate mothers from their children, which interrupts the bonding between them. By offering a home-like environment, Fresh Start Recovery Center provides the stable foundation for women to successfully address their addiction-related disorders while also caring for their children,” said John von Arx III, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Indiana.

The Columbus location will expand the Fresh Start program that VOAIN began in Indianapolis in 2015, followed by Winchester House, in Winchester, in June of this year. An Evansville center will open next year as well.

“Southern Indiana is within the nation’s epicenter for opioid abuse, and Columbus and Bartholomew County experience the devastation in lives lost, property crime, unemployment, health care costs, and broken families,” said Columbus Mayor James Lienhoop. “We look forward to our collaboration with Volunteers of America Indiana to strengthen local families and our community.”

“Columbus Regional Health, with support from the CRH Foundation, is pleased to assist Volunteers of America Indiana in bringing these important intervention and care services to our community. The Fresh Start Recovery Center alleviates the burden of finding safe, stable housing while keeping mothers and their children together during the recovery process,” said Columbus Regional Health President Jim Bickel.

Columbus was chosen as an expansion location for the Fresh Start Recovery Center in response to the rise in opioid-related overdoses and the number of children in foster care in the area. Program services are funded by the Department of Child Services. “I am so excited to learn that this project is moving forward,” said Dr. Rachel Reed of OB/GYN Associates in Columbus. “We will now have a resource in our community that will help save lives of moms and their unborn babies.”

Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, said, “The State of Indiana is committed to working with Volunteers of America and the City of Columbus to provide supportive housing to mothers struggling with drug addiction. By helping support mothers in their recovery, these new centers will also help to reduce the number of babies born with addiction disorders.”

About Volunteers of America Indiana

Volunteers of America is a national, non-profit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through thousands of human services programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America helps nearly 2 million people across the country – more than 3,300 in Indiana alone.

Established locally in 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including low-income seniors, veterans, and those recovering from addictions. Volunteers of America Indiana services individuals throughout the state of Indiana, providing counseling, rehabilitation, job placement, and residential services. www.voain.org

Nicole Knowlton
Cell 614-315-8835
Office 614-372-3120