Three graduate from Fleming House
The graduates completed the two-year program this month.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Three women have become the first graduates of the Fleming House, the Family Recovery Center's program for recovering chemical abusers.
The number may not be large, but the women told center officials in exit interviews that they'd be dead without the program.
The women "are getting their own apartments and jobs," said Eloise Traina, the center's executive director.
Fleming House is Columbiana County's only long-term transitional housing program for women. The center created a similar home for men in 1995.
Fleming House was built with $1.1 million in federal and state funding. It's named after Luceille Fleming, the former director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addition Services.
The house was created for women who were homeless in different ways.
"They can't go home or back to the [old] environment," Traina said. "It allows the reunification of the mother and children."
Most of the women came from residential treatment programs, where the women spent most of their time.
Traina said Fleming House is a transitional housing program in that it gives women freedom to come and go, either looking for work or going to school.
The house has 10 apartments, some with up to three bedrooms. The women contribute to their rent. There's a community room, a day-care program, a coin-operated laundry, and a 10 p.m. curfew.
And there are rules. Twenty pages of them.
One rule is that the fathers of the children aren't allowed in the apartments, although they are allowed in the community room.
The applicants were screened for the program that is designed to be challenging. One resident told the center, "Before I came here, I had no stability in my life. I knew what was expected of me before I came here. I remember reading the rule book over and over so I knew all the rules."
That helped create a routine.
"We're not setting them up for failure. We want to set them up for success," Traina said.
The women also were plugged into the proper treatment and training.
Two more residents are to graduate soon, and four others chose to move out for various reasons. One woman was asked to leave for breaking various rules.
"She just wasn't ready to buy into the process," Traina said.
One in 10 people has some sort of drug or alcohol addition problem, Traina says.