Huntington House adds addiction program to combat concerning trend

Rosella Stouder (left), director of Huntington House, and Rose Bailey, a case manager at the Huntington women’s shelter, pause from looking over paperwork related to a grant the facility recently attained. The last few months have been busy for Stouder and Bailey, as Huntington House introduced an addiction-relief program in the fall and recently began offering financial assistance to anyone in the community struggling with housing costs.
Rosella Stouder (left), director of Huntington House, and Rose Bailey, a case manager at the Huntington women’s shelter, pause from looking over paperwork related to a grant the facility recently attained. The last few months have been busy for Stouder and Bailey, as Huntington House introduced an addiction-relief program in the fall and recently began offering financial assistance to anyone in the community struggling with housing costs. Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Feb. 5, 2018.

The leadership at Huntington House noticed a concerning trend among the individuals who were approaching the shelter for help.

“Most of the people coming through the door needing assistance have had an addiction of one type or another, whether it’s alcohol or the drugs,” explains the facility’s director, Rosella Stouder. “We saw that over and over.”

Something needed to be done, Stouder thought.

“We felt like we were putting a Band-Aid on a situation,” she confesses. “We wanted to be able to do more to prepare (residents) for going back out into the world on their own and to give them some support and some skills for striving for that sobriety.”

The means of providing those critical skills and support took the form of Second Chance Recovery, a new addiction-relief program at Huntington House. Last fall, the shelter began offering the program, which is open exclusively to women, just like the shelter itself.

Sponsored by the state, the program enables participants to stay at Huntington House for up to six months. During that time, participants are required to attend classes led by Bailey, as well as attend church.

Huntington House has incorporated the Celebrate Recovery system into the program. A 12-step process, the system bears similarities to the ones employed by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The big difference, though, is that it is Christian-based.

“There’s principles that are based on the scriptures that we walk people through,” explains Bailey.

The program received its first participant in November.  That individual, notes Stouder, recently celebrated 90 days of sobriety.

While participating in the program is not required of the women at the shelter, Stouder says that she and Bailey have noticed that residents are drawn to it all the same. And the effect it has had has been profound.

“We had one lady (who) had a total turnaround of her lifestyle and her outlook on life,” shares Bailey. “She gave her life back to Christ and she’s not here now; she’s moved away. She’s doing wonderful and that was part of the positive things that she picked up from sitting in the classes.

“So, I think the whole thing is going to be a real success for all the ladies to help them.”

Stouder and Bailey hope to introduce a supplementary program, focused on relapse prevention, in the coming weeks.

“That covers a lot of different issues that come about with the reasons why people relapse,” says Stouder.

In addition to helping residents combat addiction issues, Huntington House is hoping to assist individuals with the costs of housing through a grant it recently attained.

“When I first arrived at Huntington House, there was a small pocket of money to help individuals as they were leaving to maybe pay for the deposit for the new home they were going to rent or to pay a deposit or first month’s rent,” notes Stouder. “So, when I applied for this (grant), I was hoping to get a little bit of money to help my residents as they were leaving.

“What we ended up with was a large chunk of money that will help not just our residents, but help other people in the community.”

An Emergency Solution grant through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the grant funds the Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention program. That program, says Stouder, aims to end states of homelessness or prevent homelessness from ever occurring.

To that end, the grant can be used to cover mortgage or rent payments, as well as the cost of utilities.

Anyone in the community can apply to receive funds from the grant, says Stouder. Additionally, the grant can be used more than just once.

“This is a program that, we’ll take a look at the big picture, not just at what the issue is at this moment, but what can we do to help keep you stable throughout the next few months,” explains Stouder.

Individuals interested in learning more about the grant are instructed to call Huntington House at 358-0748 to schedule an appointment. All app- ointments will be held at 1255 Engle St., Huntington, which is the former location of the Huntington County Free Health Clinic.

Stouder looks forward to lending a helping hand to members of the community in need. The grant lasts for a year and she fully intends to apply for it again.

“I’m hoping that this will be something that we will be able to do continuously,” she says.