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Funding for women’s halfway house gets boost

Fund-raising efforts for a women’s halfway house received a boost last week when the Harrison County Community Foundation awarded a $171,000 grant to the organization behind the project.
The Genesis House, which will be located in Corydon, is being created by the Harrison County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. That group has partnered with LifeSpring, a mental health agency that also serves Harrison County.
‘We’ve always needed a program for women,’ Jeff Skaggs, the alcohol and drug director for Harrison Superior Court and a SAPC board member, said. ‘We’ve always had to send them elsewhere.’
That ‘elsewhere’ includes facilities in Jeffersonville, Madison and Bloomington.
There is a transitional house in Laconia that uses a 12-step approach to rehabilitation and is also faith based.
Genesis House won’t be faith based, but churches are welcome to partner with the SAPC.
‘They just need to meet the women where they are in their stage of life,’ Leslie Robertson, president of the SAPC, said.
Skaggs said the number of women incarcerated locally for substance abuse has more than doubled in the past three years.
‘We had 52 new female clients in 2015,’ he said. ‘That number increased to 120 in 2018. Clark and Floyd counties’ numbers also have risen. It’s hard to find a family that’s not been affected by substance abuse.’
Genesis House will assist 14 women at any given time; however, it won’t be ready for that many initially.
‘They will be required to stay in the program at least six months,’ Robertson said. ‘They will be required to get a job and pay rent.’
There also will be classes to help participants learn how to stay sober.
Robertson said the women will be monitored 24/7 with a director at the facility.
Results of a study conducted in Scott County revealed that most women who are incarcerated with substance abuse addictions suffered from some traumatic experience as a child.
‘That’s mostly why they’re addicted,’ Robertson said. ‘We’re looking at how to address it and provide the needed resources.’
While the HCCF grant will help pay to renovate an existing structure into the Genesis House, the substance abuse prevention coalition is looking for financial partners to further support the facility. Any donation is welcome.
Skaggs said even those who can’t make a financial contribution can provide funding by shopping at a JayC or Kroger and linking a rewards card to the SAPC. It’s as simple as going online and picking Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, he said, adding that the selection has to be done annually to keep it current.
‘We’re looking for financial business partners, faith-based groups and charitable donations,’ Skaggs said.
Also needed will be job opportunities for the women in the program.
The Harrison County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has served the county since 1990, after then-Gov. Evan Bayh and the 1989 General Assembly created grants to help communities in three areas: prevention, law enforcement and treatment.
Local SAPC members will have a booth at next week’s Harrison County Fair and be available to answer questions about Genesis House and other things the coalition does.
‘I really hope people read this and offer support,’ Skaggs said.
For more information, send an email to [email protected] or call Skaggs at 812-738-8214.