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Residential addiction treatment center for pregnant women and mothers opens in Winchester

Mothers and moms-to-be now have a residential drug-addiction treatment option in Winchester that allows them to keep children by their side while they recover. Public officials and members of the community on Wednesday toured Winchester House, Volunteers of America of Indiana’s new Fresh Start Recovery Center for mothers with up to two children under the age of five and pregnant women recovering from addiction.

Located at 313 S. Meridian Street, the 23-bed residential program enables mothers to nurture their children while enrolled in addiction treatment, therapy, and parenting and life-skills classes led by on-site staff. Children participate in activities designed for their development needs. Services are provided free of charge.

“The Fresh Start Recovery Center at Winchester House takes an innovative and different approach from traditional residential programs. Allowing mothers and their young children to live together in a stable, home-like setting improves chances for successful recovery, which strengthens families and our community,” said John von Arx III, president and ceo of Volunteers of America Indiana.

Children born to addicted mothers can be removed from their home and placed in foster care by child protective services. von Arx said, “Giving mothers a pathway to recovery without forcing them to leave children behind is a major incentive to seeking treatment and establishing maternal bonds for life.”

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said, “As we know, stable housing and a connection to family and supportive services are needed together to ensure proper recovery from drug addiction. That is why the State of Indiana is committed to working with the City of Winchester to provide treatment and support services for mothers. Thanks to Volunteers of America, Winchester House is now Indiana’s second Fresh Start Recovery Center, a proven model for reversing the effects of the drug epidemic.”

Winchester Mayor Shon Byrum noted, “The opioid epidemic doesn’t stop at big-city limits, and Winchester and Randolph County are not immune from the devastation drug addiction has caused within families and workplaces. With Winchester House, we can look after our own, offer local families a healthy start, and help the next generation of youth to grow up in stable homes free of substance abuse.”

Indiana ranked 16th highest among states for drug overdose deaths from 2010 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a trend the officials at Wednesday’s event said the Fresh Start program is working to reverse. Since Winchester House opened in June, 28 women have sought help.

The recovery center is the first expansion of the Fresh Start program that began under VOAIN’s leadership in Indianapolis in 2015. Winchester House was developed in partnership with the City of Winchester, Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, and Department of Child Services. The city received a loan up to $815,000 from IHCDA’s Development Fund to purchase and renovate the building, previously a church-owned property. Referrals can be made at FreshStartReferrals@voain.org or 317-617-1681.

Check out our event pictures!