Treatment home for mothers fighting substance abuse coming to Roanoke City

A coalition of groups are working together to bring back the services of Bethany Hall

ROANOKE, VA – A new treatment center aimed at helping women with substance abuse disorders and their babies will come to the Roanoke Valley soon.

Several organizations, including Anderson Treatment, are banding together to create this new housing facility that will be located on Patterson Avenue.

Anderson Treatment will provide treatment for mothers. Some of the treatments are group therapies and medication-assisted treatments. Babies will also receive treatment from pediatricians. Chief Compliance Officer Ali Hamed-Moore said it’s important to have the center, especially in Southwest Virginia.

“The rate of overdoses among pregnant women has increased[steadily] since 2015. Roanoke City remains in the highest number of localities of children regarding children in foster care. So, we know that moms and their babies need treatment and recovery together,” said Hamed-Moore.

Restoration Housing, which invests in older historical homes and neighborhoods, will own the home and rent it out so services can take place there. It’s also in the process of restoring the home. The group said it needs about $400,000 in funding to complete the project.

“There’s a lot of work. This house is actually in really great condition compared to the other houses that we restore. It’s in incredible condition, but it needs these updated rehab components in order to make it fully compatible with the treatment facility,” said Executive Director Isabel Thornton with Anderson Treatment.

The groups working on the residential treatment facility said they started talking about a year ago about bringing back the services of Bethany Hall, which closed years ago.

“Bethany Hall was a fixture in the community for 50 years that served a really important need for moms and their babies, and this community coalition of folks wanted to get together recognizing with its closure that there was a gap in services,” said Hamed-Moore.

Thornton said since Bethany Hall’s closure, there was a strong sense of urgency to bring something similar back to the community.

“I think people working in the treatment and recovery world. People working with women that have high-risk pregnancies just seeing this gap in services and really wanting to bring them back to the community,” said Thornton.

Hamed-Moore also said there are only two other programs that offer similar services in the Commonwealth.

“One of them is in Richmond and the other ones are in the Eastern Shore. So, it’s really important to have a program like this on this side of the state to serve the Roanoke Valley and deeper Southwest Virginia,” said Hamed-Moore.

Sixteen mothers and their babies will live in the house for about six months to seek treatment, but it does depend on the needs of the mom and baby. They hope the first families will seek treatment here next year.

“I hope that they’re met with good quality treatment and not shame and stigma. So, that they can get quality care and be fully present loving parents and that their babies get all of their needs met and mothers are attended to in that critical time after they give birth,” said Hamed-Moore.

About the Author

Keshia Lynn is a Multimedia Journalist for WSLS. She was born and raised in Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Society from American University and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

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