For over 20 years, the non-profit Community Youth and Women’s Alliance has operated Samara House, a long-term residential treatment program for women and their young children in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. The CYWA can trace its roots back to the Coatesville YWCA, which was founded in the 1800s.
Today, no longer affiliated with the YWCA, the CYWA’s purpose is to support a diverse community of women as they develop life skills, responsibility, self-esteem and become responsible members of their community. The CYWA also operates an emergency shelter.
Most women stay in the program for six months. Samara House specializes in treating women and newborn babies addicted to heroin. Clients must be pregnant or living with up to two children under the age of 12.
Accommodations and Food
Residents live in a large Victorian home. Up to 12 women are accommodated at one time and children stay with them in their room. The home has a common area for TV, games and reading. Residents are responsible for preparing their own meals. They shop weekly and share the food communally. Most groceries are paid for by public assistance.
Children attend a nearby public school and those under school-age stay at the facility during the days; residents can use a contracted babysitting service to supervise their children while they attend treatment.
Treatment and Staff
Days begin with chore assignments and then include a full schedule of life skills classes and group and individual therapy. Therapy uses CBT, the Living in Balance curriculum and the 12-step framework. Clients attend at least 10 treatment groups each week and have individual therapy once a week. Residents are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings at a nearby church and can attend worship services as well.
The treatment team includes Master’s- and Bachelor’s-level social workers and NCAC addiction counselors. Clients in need of dual diagnosis support are referred to a nearby mental health clinic and those needing Suboxone or Subutex for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction are referred to a prescribing physician.
As clients progress in their treatment plan, they receive case management services to help them find employment and other supportive services. Samara House also helps clients locate transitional care and public housing vouchers.
Since the 1990s, The Community Youth and Women’s Alliance Samara House has been providing a safe place for pregnant women and women with young children to stabilize their health and learn how to manage their addiction. Over the course of six months, residents can learn life skills and receive therapy and education while their children thrive in a structured, cooperative environment.
Community Youth and Women’s Alliance: Samara House
423 E. Lincoln Highway
Coatesville, PA 19320
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