MISSOULA – A new resource for mothers and all women recovering from addiction is coming to Missoula next week and they are looking for applicants to fill 16 new beds.
Montana is seeing ever increasing rates of children living in foster care because their parents are abusing drugs or alcohol, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and human services statistics.
The Union Gospel Mission Women and Children’s Center is launching a new program to help moms recover by keeping their kids with them during the process. It’s something that’s close to one mother’s heart.
“I wish I could have recovered with my children rather than being separated from them while I recovered. That’s why my heart is in this, is to keep families together because its so hard to try to recover without your child, and that’s just how it is because there aren’t many options for families to stay together while they recover,” said center director DeNae Hammonds who is also a recovered addict.
The program is designed to transform lives in 12 months or less and also to launch women into society ready to stand on their own two feet. One of the tenants is to help women be economically successful after they leave, and they are doing that by putting on classes to help women do well on the GED test.
Women in the program will be supported by mom’s who are no stranger to their situation. Sabrina Ketron was homeless, living with her kids in her car before completing a UGM recovery program.
“The routine and the schedule is big, and just knowing that you are loved here. I mean, there’s love..I knew..I was scared when I first came out here, but within a couple days I knew I was taken care of and everyone loved me, nobody was judging me, they understood…they had sympathy and empathy,” she said.
She says women will find sympathy, empathy and support — as well as six months of aftercare.
“I think it’s even off the chart because it’s a maternal instinct that you deal with, that is saying, I’m not good enough, I lost my kids. But to say that, you are gonna have some grace and love and forgiveness and hope instilled in you, and hey, we’re gonna keep your family together…priceless,” said UGM director Don Evans.
Recovering from addiction is challenging but staff say they hope that this new facility will give women the tools and the place that they need to feel safe and be successful.
There will be a ribbon cutting on Aug. 20 but in the meantime, the center is wrapping up renovations on the facility and looking for donations and volunteers.
Click here to learn more about the program or call (406) 549-HOPE.
Reporting by Augusta McDonnell for MTN News