New Residential Drug Addiction Treatment Center to Open in Winchester, IN
On Thursday, January 26, 2017 the City of Winchester was approved by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to receive a loan up to $815,000.00 from the IHCDA's Development Fund. The City of Winchester will use this loan to purchase the Education building (313 S. Meridian Street) of the Winchester Campus of the Compass Church. Funds will be used to remodel the building and then contract with Volunteers of America of Indiana (VOAIN) to provide a 23-bed residential substance abuse treatment facility for mothers; program participants can bring up to two children under the age of five to live with them at the residential facility.
The Winchester House, as it will be called, will be modeled after Theodora House, a 15-bed treatment program in Indianapolis run by VOAIN called the Fresh Start Recovery Center. Currently, the Fresh Start Recovery Center has a waiting list of over 80 mothers who need treatment.
This program receives referrals for women who have already detoxed from the Indiana Department of Child Services. These mothers are allowed to bring their children with them and are offered services including addictions treatment, therapy, and education in parenting and life skills. Case management is also provided to help them find employment, long-term housing, and treatment to prevent relapse.
With the unique feature of allowing women to go through treatment with their children by their side, clients of the Fresh Start Recovery Center have a higher average successful discharge rate than other similar rehab centers; 60% instead of 40%.
In some cases, pregnant mothers enter the Fresh Start Recovery Center to give their baby the opportunity to be born free of illicit drugs. This eliminates the need for the infant to spend extra time in the hospital to detox, which provides infant health and medical cost-savings benefits. This program also prevents children from going into the foster care system.
Once a few last hurdles are crossed, the City of Winchester will bid out construction of Winchester House per the architect's and VOAIN's drawings. Currently it is hard to predict an opening date but if everything moves along smoothly a late spring or early summer opening is possible.
The City of Winchester has already formed partnerships for the future Winchester House, and continues to do so. Partners (potential and current) include local health providers to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) referrals; individuals seeking opportunities to share their expertise in areas such as financial literacy, housekeeping, parenting, and other life skills; workforce development training; and long-term housing. The City of Winchester currently sponsors support groups such as A Better Life—Brianna's Hope.
"VOAIN, the IHCDA, State Senators and Representatives, Commissioners and Councilmembers, clergy, businesses, families, and now even the Governor, are all coming together to reverse the devastating drug-related statistics that, if left unchecked, will ultimately destroy the fabric of our society. I am extremely proud of my community and my state for the bold steps we have taken so far, and those we are about to take towards finding help for our most vulnerable--mothers and children in the grips of addiction," said Mayor Shon Byrum.
In the Next Level 2017 Legislative Agenda introduced by Governor Eric Holcomb and Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, the five main pillars of the agenda include attacking the state's drug epidemic. Among Governor Holcomb's first efforts in office was to name Jim McClelland as Indiana's first Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement through an Executive Order. In his role, McClelland will coordinate and direct the strategies to end drug addiction conducted by state agencies.
"We are committed to providing safe, decent and affordable housing for Indiana's most vulnerable," said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director at IHCDA. "We are proud to come alongside Mayor Byrum and the City of Winchester in their efforts to provide both housing and the support services needed for women in Randolph County to beat their drug addiction."