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Athens will soon have a recovery house for women

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As the opioid epidemic rages on throughout the state, a drug recovery house for women will soon open its doors in Athens.

Serenity Grove Recovery House, Athens’ first recovery house for women, hosted a fundraiser Oct.12 that raised over $25,000 through ticket sales and auctions, said Janalee Stock, a member of the recovery house board.

Donors also pledged money to buy furniture for the house. According to a fact card put on display at the fundraiser, overdoses are the number one cause of death of Americans under the age of 50.

The 11 women who make up the recovery house’s board of directors hosted the fundraiser at the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, next to the John W. Clem House, the recovery house for men.

The Clem House is going on its eleventh year in operation, and now Serenity Grove will join it, now giving Athens a home for women recovering from addiction.

“A recovery house provides that stepping stone to get back to independent living, healthy living,” Stock, one of the founders of Serenity Grove, said.

She described it as a place for women recovering from drug addiction who are getting out of jail or prison, who had a toxic life at home or who are getting out of My Sister’s Place or the local homeless shelter. My Sister’s Place is a safe, secret location in Athens where domestic violence survivors can live with their families and receive aid and services.

In Stock’s words, Athens is like a two-legged stool, with the legs made up of the social service agencies and the criminal justice system.

“The third leg is missing…and that’s the recovery community,” Stock said.

“Can you sit on (the stool)? Will it support you?”

The recovery house’s mission is to be that third leg.

“We believe that having a firm foundation where women can hone the skills necessary to fulfil their own promise will make a difference,” says Stock.

Serenity Grove will open by the end of the year.

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