CLEVELAND — An addiction center specializing in the treatment of women and caring for their children during recovery is hoping to get a new building to better serve its patients.
Michelle Woods has stayed clean for almost 30 years. She said helping others has been one secret to her success.
“It’s rewarding. It keeps me sober. I do a group every other Saturday and I take entries and we do a topic and the ladies help me. They say I help them, but no, I think they help me more,” said Woods.
Woods said she was in an awful place decades ago when she walked into the Hitchcock Center for Women on Cleveland’s east side, where she confronted her addiction.
“And I came through the doors of Hitchcock because I didn’t want to go to jail. So, I wasn’t looking for recovery. I was looking for a way out,” said Woods.
After leaving inpatient treatment, she’d eventually go back to school and become a board member for the recovery organization. Now, she’s hoping to raise money for a new building.
“We need it more than anything right here in the inner city. We do not need to take it further away where a woman can’t get off a bus and come for help. A woman can walk off of Saint Clair, Wade Park or Superior, inner city and get help, and that means so much,” said Woods.
Jason Joyce is the executive director for Hitchcock. He said with addiction rates rising since the pandemic began, it’s time for a new building.
Recent grants from the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland City Council are making it a real possibility. Joyce added that the new building will allow for expanded care, a better environment and will allow children to stay with their mothers, a service unique to the center.
“With the current structure, we do get a lot of people coming through, but really, longer term, how do we maintain that access moving forward so that when people feel that they’re ready for treatment, they can get here immediately, they can feel comfortable while they’re here, and we can stay around for generations,” said Joyce.
Woods said she hopes that the upgraded services will lead to more success stories of recovery like hers.
“I hated being here. I was around a lot of women I didn’t like. They didn’t like me, but by the time I got ready to leave, I didn’t want to go. I did not want to go. A change had took place within me here at Hitchcock. I wanted to recover,” said Woods.
According to the Hitchcock Center, they’ve received $2.5 million from the Cleveland Clinic and $2 million from City Council that could help fund a new building. The center is now lobbying for additional funding from the Cuyahoga County Council.