Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Martha’s Place was founded by Elder Harris of Newborn Holistic Ministries in 2000. Harris, who grew up in the rough Sandtown-Winchester area of Baltimore, met a young woman at an NA meeting who told him that the community was in dire need of female-only sober living house. After that conversation, he was determined to make a difference. Today, Martha’s Place has been giving back to this neighborhood providing faith-based transitional and long-term housing for newly clean and sober women for well over a decade.
Accommodations and Amenities
Martha’s Place six month transitional housing accommodates up to 25 women dorm-style in a three-story brick building featuring a mural of a white-robed figure exalting God. The mural overlooks a meditation garden that includes trees, park benches, a bubbling water fountain, trees, landscaped lawn and a pond with floating lily pads. The garden offers a spot of calm in the busy urban neighborhood.
Women rotate in teams and prepare meals for the household. The task of food preparation, as well as other chores, helps them build life skills. The women normally eat in shifts, but a communal meal is served at 5:30 pm Wednesdays, followed by the house meeting. The house has several resident managers overlooking operations.
A renovated brick double row house is home to the Martha’s Place long-term program. The building was once a hangout for drug dealers, but has now been renovated to house the women in comfortable private rooms. A large garden wraps around the side of the building. The side of the house is covered with a large mural depicting a forest of trees against an ethereal blue backdrop. The mural is a memorial to those in the community who have lost their lives to addiction. The family-style house includes a shared kitchen, a comfortable living room, a dining room and shared bathroom and laundry areas.
Rules and Regulations
Prospective clients must be clean, have completed detox and a 28-day inpatient drug rehab or have gone to 30 12-step meetings in 30 days. Prior to being accepted into the house, women meet with several staff members, as well as a drug counselor during the lengthy interview process. The length of stay is six months. There is a 30-day black out period upon admittance designed to help the women focus on their recovery. Clients are subject to random drug and alcohol testing.
Residents must attend daily 12-step meetings, participate in individual and group therapy with a certified addictions counselor, obtain employment, acquire and work with a sponsor, and participate in Money Management training. Additionally, clients participate in Bible study, attend Gospel services, as well as a spiritual growth class. Upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to apply for long-term housing.
The long-term recovery home is an unstaffed house where residents can apply the skills learned from the six-month transitional program in an independent environment. Supportive services such as counseling and help with money management remain available to residents upon request.
Martha’s Angels are alumni who act as sponsors, provide outreach services and are role models to the women.
While the faith-based segment of Martha’s Place might deter some prospective clients, other women might find solace in the highly structured program with a spiritual component. Martha’s Place has truly met a need in the community by providing affordable recovery housing for women in an area where the sober living communities were previously only available to men.
1928 Pennsylvania Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217
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