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Working Together: Helping women living with addiction

Posted at 7:28 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 19:28:51-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Major concerns tonight for those who deal wioth substance abuse, especially in this era of COVID-19. With isolation comes the chance for relapses.

A recovery residence in the heart of Indianapolis is receiving grant money allowing it to help hundreds of women dealing with addiction across the state.

"If Dove House had not been here I might not be here," Kristy Shene said. "I truly would not have known where to go if they wouldn't have opened their doors to me."

Shene spent more than a year at Dove Recovery House for Women. Her picture is still on the wall inside the building and she still remembers the day she started her journey to better her life back in 2015.

"I was released from jail I actually walked from downtown with the clothes on my back to Dove House," Shene said. "I stayed for 17 months. I had a lot of struggles to overcome, a lot of obstacles. I went through a DCS case with my children where my children were adopted and Dove House supported me through all of it."

Dove House is Marion County's largest women's recovery facility. They house 40 women every night at no cost who are dealing with substance use disorder.

"Dove House really focuses on the trauma and then the addiction," Wendy Noe, executive director of Dove House, said. "Unfortunately, with COVID-19 isolation is a huge factor for addiction and relapses."

With a 75 percent success rate, Dove House is being asked by the state to replicate their work in other recovery residences. Dove House just received a $100,000 Indiana State Opioid Response grant. $25,000 will be used to work with other facilities to develop policies and procedures dealing with COVID-19.

"We can't shut our doors, we can't socially isolate in a recovery residence," Noe said. "But how do we continue to protect those individuals that are living within our residential program and our staff members?"

The rest of the grant will focus on increasing bed capacity for women who are suffering from substance use disorder by sharing their model and ultimately increasing sobriety rates and helping women like Shene.

"I've had several experiences in life in active addiction where I barely made it out alive," Shene said. "Thanks to Dove House, I had a safe place to call home for the duration of the time I needed to build a new foundation and a new life."

Shene is now a college graduate and a peer specialist at Dove House helping save the lives of other women dealing with substance use.

With the grant money from the state, Dove House will provide technical assistance to at least 36 other recovery residences to help deal with the current COVID-19 crisis and improve recovery services for hundreds of Hoosier women dealing with substance use disorder.

Dove House currently has a waiting list of 45 women.

What is Working Together?
Working Together is a new WRTV initiative that focuses on telling impactful stories highlighting the wide range of cultures, areas and people that make central Indiana the place that it is. Through our Working Together initiative we will share the stories of our communities and carry their voices forward. We’re Working for You by Working Together.

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