The District of Columbia has one of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse in the country. Homelessness in the region remains a pervasive issue and approximately half of homeless individuals have substance abuse issues.
“As I went through this last year of my life, I went through the ‘woe is me’ phase.’ It was just me and the bottle,” said Victoria, a recent graduate of the Transitional Living program, Samaritan Inns’ middle phase of treatment.
While the need for transitional living spaces in DC is great, breaking the cycle of addiction and homelessness in our Nation’s Capital can not be achieved by more beds alone.
“Being at [a non-treatment shelter in DC], all you’d see is alcohol,” Victoria said. “It was the hardest thing for me to do. Start saying no.” It takes long term recovery work, including a supportive living environment separate from old circles, neighborhoods, and even some shelters, where drug and alcohol abuse remains untreated and unmonitored; for sobriety to take hold.
The middle phase of Samaritan Inns’ recovery program helps create a new life for individuals suffering from addictions – a life filled with accountability, responsibility, and loving respect. It provides the missing link for men and women to successfully transition from their initial sobriety to long-term recovery – and Victoria reached that goal with the help of program director, Lynette Daniels. “Ms. Lynette is tough but she cares,” Victoria said, who is now a resident in Samaritan Inns’ long-term recovery phase. “The tears Lynette cries, they are not a waste.”
“The middle phase serves as the link that allows men and women the ability to stretch and go deeper” Lynette said. “With the understanding that the counseling staff is there to support them in becoming individuals who are empowered and have the tools necessary to live a long and healthy life without the use of drugs and alcohol.”
Building upon an ongoing, successful capital campaign, Samaritan Inns plans to renovate two previously owned buildings, the Fairmont and Ontario Inns, which will support 50 men and 30 women a year in the middle phase of treatment while providing specialized addictions counseling and ongoing support services.
The increased number of men and women served by the expansion will strengthen the link between Samaritan Inns three phases of treatment and provide hope and a home for many individuals in need.
“The miracle’s still not over for me,” Victoria said. “It’s just a beginning.”
The cycle of addiction in our Nation’s Capital can be broken. The residents at Samaritan Inns like Victoria are working toward that goal.
“The support here is phenomenal. I am so grateful for this place,” Victoria said. “You have to keep pushing through. The moment you quit, you don’t quit Samaritan Inns, you quit yourself. I didn’t quit,” she said. And neither will Samaritan Inns.