Women and Children in Recovery at RS EDEN

RS EDEN Women’s Program provides family-centered substance use disorder treatment for women and their children. Treatment services are offered in the newly-renovated 614 Grant building in Minneapolis. The building was purchased in 2016 and redesigned intentionally to create a family-centered, trauma-informed environment in which women and children can heal together. Women attend treatment groups to address trauma, parenting skills, chemical dependency, and mental health. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation techniques are part of their recovery, as well as regular family events and outings including trips to the Minnesota Zoo, State Fair, local libraries, and other sober family events. Children are welcome at the building and central to the family’s recovery process. Mothers and children live together in the nearby Lorraine Apartments, a place where women can free themselves from substance abuse, stay safe, and practice a change in lifestyle and commitment to sobriety that supports healthy families. Children are supported with access to PICA Head Start and transportation to various school programs.

This family-centered care system aligns with best practices of keeping families together while engaging recovery. The impact that RS EDEN Women’s Program hopes to have on the women it serves is based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA )definition of recovery:“Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice, while striving to achieve their full potential.” RS EDEN Women’s Program also aligns with SAMHSA’s 4 dimensions of supporting families in recovery:

Health—overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being

Home—having a stable and safe place to live

Purpose—conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society

Community—having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope

A typical client seeking services at RS EDEN Women’s Program is a woman with a long-term history of substance use disorder as well as myriad other stressors including mental health diagnoses, and histories of abuse, trauma, and neglect. In addition, many clients are involved in legal systems including Child Protection (CPS) or probation requirements. RS EDEN Women’s Program is well-known in the Child Protection community and Minnesota Department of Human Services agencies as a place for women seeking to reunite with their children. A large percentage of the women RS EDEN serves are involved in CPS, including families in which out-of-home placement action has been taken. Oftentimes, women will enter treatment without custody of their children and within weeks or months of demonstrating a commitment to sobriety, accountability, and stability will have their children rejoin them as a family. When families are reunited they are supported by counseling, clinical, technical, and nursing staff to regain their identities as effective parents. This gives women the chance to practice and demonstrate their recovery and parenting skills in a therapeutically-supportive environment. Women have daily house chores, attend a daily house meeting, and families eat community meals together at the Lorraine apartments. The building is supervised around the clock by trained technical staff who monitor and support the women in their recovery and parenting efforts.

RS EDEN uses a long-term treatment model, which has a history of providing a positive, family-centered environment for families to recover together. These changes do not happen overnight. Typically, clients attend treatment programming for a minimum of four to six months (primary treatment phase). Clients then transition to the continuum of care program by living in the community and returning to RS EDEN to complete supportive after-care sessions and programming. After completion of treatment, alumni are encouraged to visit often, check in, and to serve as role models for current clients. Once out in the community many of our graduates are eligible to reside in permanent supportive housing and begin the process of rebuilding their place in the community. By the end of their treatment experience, a typical RS EDEN Women’s Program graduate is sober, stably housed, and engaged in recovery activities including self and family care, education, employment, and playing an active role in the community.

Meet Lucy Versalles, Director RS EDEN Women’s Program

Women’s Program Director and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Lucy Versalles has been helping women recover for more than 20 years. Lucy is a 2011 graduate of the SAMHSA Women’s Addiction Services Leadership Institute. She has served as the Women’s Program Director for RS EDEN for 12 years. Lucy came to RS EDEN from a position at Shakopee Women’s Prison, where she helped build their long-term substance use program from the ground up. She has an extensive background working with women with complex histories and multiple stressors. One of Lucy’s gifts is her ability to meet clients where they are at and help them discover for themselves what they need to begin and sustain their recovery journey. “My hope is that the women living within RS EDEN’s structure, support, and guidance, will learn the life and recovery skills they need during their time with us to carry with them on their recovery journey.”

RS EDEN Women’s Program has a longstanding reputation of working successfully with women who have substance use disorders. At the core of our services is the belief that with structure, stability, and accountability, people can and do change. RS EDEN seeks to rebuild families, one client at a time. RS EDEN Women’s program provides client and family-centered care, with a focus on serving mothers with children.

The families at RS EDEN's women's recovery program often have limited resources and can benefit from donations of diapers, baby care items, clothing and household items. If you have a donation, please contact Lucy Versalles at lversalles@rseden.org.