Thursday, November 21, 2013
WALLA WALLA — A new place for women, including those with children, to recover from addictions and get a new start over will open its doors Dec. 1.
Oxford House Inc. has been readying a Portland Avenue house to be home for up to seven families headed by women, according to Jason Bliss, outreach services representative at the Tri-Cities Oxford House office.
The program is a concept in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction emphasizing self-supporting and drug-free homes that are democratically run by residents.
Having a place to live that is semi-permanent greatly aids relapse prevention, Bliss said.
“At traditional shelters they can’t stay very long,” he said. “And not having housing to go to, they return to the streets or family members with active addictions.”
Two Oxford House residences for men are already established in Walla Walla, he said. “Both are doing well and are full, actually.”
Residents of the homes elect officers yearly and learn teamwork to keep things functioning. They can stay as long as they remain clean and sober and can pay an equal share of house expenses. The average stay is 15 months, Bliss said.
“Extensive studies have shown if a man or woman moves in and stays 15 months, they have an 87 percent chance of success,” he said.
The new house for women needs donations of household supplies and furniture, such as beds, dressers and seating. For more information call Bliss at 509-430-1155.
Sheila Hagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8322.