THIS BUILDING under construction on Crystal Avenue will serve as a recovery house for women addicted to opioids who are pregnant or those with newborn infants when it opens early next year. The recovery house will include three one-bedroom apartments and one for an on-site manager. (Photo by Brenna Griteman)

By SARA ARTHURS

Staff Writer

Pregnant women addicted to opioids will soon have new recovery housing to support them — and the community is banding together to give them a baby shower of sorts.

The Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board is constructing a 2,870-square-foot recovery house in Findlay for pregnant women and women with newborn infants at 2475 Crystal Ave.

Precia Stuby, the ADAMHS board’s executive director, told The Courier in April that housing has been an issue for women in the Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS) program, a joint effort of Blanchard Valley Health System and A Renewed Mind. In the program, pregnant women who are using opioids get weaned off the drugs in a way that is safe for them and their babies.

Stopping opiate use suddenly can throw the baby into withdrawal, which is dangerous.

Only women who are participating in the MOMS program will be eligible to live in the recovery house. They will receive peer support on site, and be connected with other services in the community.

Stuby said the ADAMHS board expects to get the keys to the house just before Christmas, and will spend January getting furniture installed and getting the homes ready to occupy.

Focus, the nonprofit recovery center that manages the ADAMHS board’s other recovery housing, will manage this as well, and will be recruiting a resident manager and taking applications for residents. Stuby said the hope is that residents can move in during February.

The house includes three one-bedroom apartments for women and their babies, as well as one for the on-site manager. The land was donated by Blanchard Valley Health System.

Stuby said women will be able to stay in the housing throughout their pregnancy, as well as after the delivery of their babies.

She anticipates the final costs coming in lower than the predicted $667,000. Seventy-five percent of the funds come from a state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services grant, with the rest coming from several local sources including the ADAMHS board and the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation.

Stuby said she feels the program will help create the best possible opportunity “for infants we don’t even know yet who could be set up for success with their mothers. … And having it all come together at Christmas,” she said, is a “real blessing for our community.”

A community effort is underway to raise funds for furnishings for the home. Brandon Daniels, one of the organizers, said they tried to take a “fairly unconventional approach” — to set up a registry, like one for a baby shower or a wedding.

“This is their chance to get a baby shower,” Daniels said of the residents.

The funds are divided into “buckets” so donors can contribute money toward categories such as bedroom supplies or major appliances. Daniels expects to soon have specific items up for purchase on the registry. One currently listed is a 16-piece dinnerware set.

The Findlay Service League is acting as the fiscal agent and will collect funds, then give them back to the ADAMHS board. The fundraiser runs through Jan. 15.

Daniels said he hopes that when the women move in, “They can step into the apartment and it feels like home.”

And those who are interested can follow updates at https://www.facebook.com/events/641298726404764/

Arthurs: 419-427-8494 Send an E-mail to Sara Arthurs

Twitter: @swarthurs

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