Erie County officials plan to open an 80-bed recovery home for women battling drug addiction in the coming months. An existing building across the street from the health department will be converted into the facility. It follows the recent opening of a detox center.
“We’re trying to provide the circle of care to where other communities will hopefully model after us,” said Dr. Bill Kimberlin, a psychologist at the Erie County Health Department.
Kimberlin says it’s important to eliminate the gap between detox and recovery, but right now, it’s hard to do.
“We end up sending them all over the place, whether it’s different cities or different counties, wherever we can. There are very few options.”
Officials hope the more than two million dollar project, which will be paid for with state and county dollars, will serve as a remedy.
“So when they get done with the detoxification aspect, they will go right across the street where they can be in a residential setting and also receive all the counseling that they desire, everything that is needed to go along with the recovery process,” said Kimberlin.
Health department officials say the opioid crisis has put a strain on Erie County Job & Family Services. They hope the recovery home allows more children to reunite with their mother's. Kimberlin says when women get to a certain phase, their kids will be allowed to stay with them.
“It’s a huge game-changer, especially for the female population because one of the biggest stressors they have is the little ones at home,” he said. “Allowing them to have this sober living right along with their children, not only helps them, but eliminates a lot of issues that counties run into with foster care and foster homes.”
The recovery home is expected to be open in the late spring or early summer.