WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The first and only transitional treatment center for women is open in the District of Columbia, filling a need that has not been met for decades.
The treatment center is operated by Samaritan Inns, a non-profit that works with the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health. Samaritan Inns opened their first treatment center in 1988, which served men in the community. Now, there are almost ten centers spread throughout the District, that serve men or women with children.
Samaritan Inns President and Chief Executive Officer, Lauren C. Vaughan, said, “It’s been a gap in the treatment services that are available in the city for a very long time, and I’m just proud that Samaritan Inns was able to make this a reality.”
The new transitional treatment center serves single women, and has the capacity to help up to 50 women each year. It opened in February 2021, after having to delay for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a six-month program and comes after the women complete a 28-day treatment plan.
The program works to empower residents and help them succeed after graduation. One resident, Jacqueline Pearson, has been battling addition for 25-years. She said, “I was among the first three women who came here, so I feel like I’m leaving my legacy. That I came through here and succeeded. When we have our graduation, that’s going to be a big deal to me, because I haven’t done it before.”
Pearson said she chose to get help after overdosing for the fourth time. She said her son found her unconscious, and the pain in his eyes outweighed the pain in her heart. She said the women’s treatment center through Samaritan Inns is different than her previous experiences, because this time she is getting help for herself, because she wants it. “We get along here right well because everyone in here is trying. They’re struggling to be clean, but we have been taught to stay in today. Don’t worry about tomorrow,” she said. “If I’m clean today, kudos to me. I’ve done a wonderful thing, and somebody is going to see it, and somebody is going to notice it and they too will want to be clean.”
Looking down at her hands, Pearson said, “My hands used to be black from smoking out of a crack pipe, and now look at them, they’re beautiful. I was so skinny, my face was black and sunken in, and now I’m beautiful and doing great. It’s really a great place.”
Samaritan Inns is currently accepting new residents. Click here to learn more about the available programs or submit an application.