To provide safe and supportive housing to women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, and their children.
Amethyst Place is an outgrowth of the Metropolitan Task Force on Drug Exposed Infants. The Task Force consists of 28 agencies including Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Truman Medical Center, Friendship House/Catherine’s Place, Operation Breakthrough, Missouri Department of Mental Health and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The Task Force appointed an ad hoc Housing Committee in 1998 to: 1) identify existing, affordable housing for recovering women and their children, and 2) make recommendations to secure additional housing resources for this population. Recognizing that supported housing in independent apartments exclusively for recovering women and their children was not available in the community, collaborative efforts resulted in the creation of Amethyst Place in May 2000.
Amethyst Place is built on the belief that recovery is a life-long process of healing and re-orienting the physiological, neurological, psychological, behavioral, social, and spiritual areas of life. A mother who grew up without positive role models, is surrounded by social disadvantage, and is overwhelmed by a chaotic home life, has diminished capacity to care for her children. Women in recovery must build new skills to achieve permanent sobriety and independent living.
Parenting children without safe housing increases the risk of child abuse and neglect. Women whose children are in state custody benefit from housing support to facilitate reunification. Recovering women need to escape former housing tied to drug using behavior, and they need treatment options that keep families intact. Amethyst Place is one of only a very few facilities that offer transitional housing to women with substance abuse issues, and their children. And it is the only program offering private apartments to families and requiring reunification with children as part of the admission. Keeping a single-parent family intact without supportive housing makes recovery an enormous challenge that few will overcome.
Families receive professional support and 24-hour supervision. They must work, go to school or volunteer. Community case management and collaborations are central to the program’s success. Women must be referred by one of the following five agencies: Operation Breakthrough, reDiscover, Renaissance West, Family Drug Court, Children’s Mercy Hospital TIES.
The program currently serves 36 families in well-maintained, fully furnished, one- two- and three-bedroom apartments. Each family resides within a community of other families with the mutual goal of maintaining a healthy and drug-free life. Families share responsibility and accountability for children, the apartment building, a safe environment and maintenance of their recovery. Graduates can continue their life of sobriety at Amethyst Place Alumni Housing, which offers less restrictive rules but continued support and guidance.