Haven4Change is a residential transitional living facility in Bowling Green for women who have completed residential treatment for substance abuse or intensive outpatient treatment.

“A key aspect that sets Haven4Change aside from other residential transitional programs is that residents are allowed and encouraged to bring their children, ages 12 and under, to live with them while they learn the necessary life skills needed to adapt to the day-to-day challenges of living life while in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction,” said Karen Garrity, LifeSkills clinical director of addiction services.

With program requirements, rules and curfews, Haven4Change works to instill structure in the lives of its residents. Positive life habits are developed and built around this framework.

To further promote success this program offers:

• individual therapy.

• group therapy.

• parenting classes.

• referrals to GED classes and other services.

• job search assistance.

• peer support.

• case management.

• therapeutic services for children, as needed.

“There is a great need for facilities of this nature,” Garrity said. “Programs that not only help women achieve long-term sobriety, but also work to reunify and strengthen families. There is always a waiting list and we’ve had women come here from all over Kentucky.”

The length of stay varies because each case is unique, but most residents stay for six months up to a year.

“Women in our program develop valuable recovery skills,” Garrity said. “We work hard to provide structure, support and accountability in a recovering atmosphere. We make certain that when they leave, they are well immersed in the recovering community and have solid support systems in place.”

Ever since opening in 1997, Haven4Change has seen its share of success stories, including women who have gone on to not only earn their GEDs but also their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“While we could not be prouder about and happier for the many scholastic and career achievements of our former residents,” Garrity said, “the best reward to us is knowing they are living sober and productive lives, working in the community … supporting and caring for themselves and for their children.”

A key message from this program that works to instill responsibility and normalcy back into the lives of its residents is that people can and do recover, turn their lives around and become contributing and valuable members of society.

Due to its increasing need, a facility expansion will soon raise this program’s enrollment capacity from 17 to 25 women and their children.

– For more information about Haven4Change, call 901-5000, ext. 0340.

– Maureen Mahaney coordinates public information for LifeSkills Inc., a nonprofit behavioral health care corporation that plans for and serves the people of southcentral Kentucky in three main areas: mental health, addiction and intellectual disabilities. Her column appears monthly.

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