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SWFAS to dedicate new halfway house for women on June 17

By Staff | Jun 5, 2009

Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS) will open a new larger halfway house for women on Wednesday, June 17, replacing a 50-year-old structure at the Transitional Living Center (TLC) on Dixie Parkway in Fort Myers.

The dedication and ribbon-cutting will begin at 10 a.m. at 2527 Dixie Parkway (between Franklin and South Street). Tours of the facility will follow the ceremony.

The new 16-bed facility will house 40 to 50 women per year who have completed the residential treatment program and moved into the halfway house for extended treatment.

The halfway house was built with $350,000 in funds from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership, through the Lee County Commission, and $191,000 in funds from the Homeless Housing Assistance grant that is part of Lee County’s Continuum of Care initiative. Operational and support service funds are provided, in part, by a U.S. Housing & Urban Development Continuum of Care grant.

An $11,300 grant from the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida and a $4,900 grant from The League Club helped to furnish the new women’s home. Also, $700 from Bat Yam Temple on Sanibel was used for window coverings and bed linens.

“We are very grateful to the Lee County Commission, as well as the ladies of the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida and The League Club and Bat Yam Temple for helping us to build and furnish this new home for the women in treatment,” said SWFAS Transitional Living Center Director Rosemary Boisvert. “Providing a home-like environment for individuals recovering from substance abuse is a key part of the recovery process.”

The new home is extremely energy efficient and is expected to reduce energy usage by up to 20 percent, according to Boisvert.

The TLC now provides residential treatment for 42 men and women with drug and/or alcohol problems in either a short-term residential program (one month) or in a four to six-month transitional living program.

Permanent supportive housing also is offered for an additional 34 individuals and up to two families in a variety of duplexes on the TLC campus that stretches from Dixie Parkway to Grand Avenue in central Fort Myers.

Residents of permanent supportive housing are expected to live a drug-free lifestyle, obtain work, and pay monthly rent that is based on their income. The facility is supported by 24/7 staff on the TLC campus and medical management is available, as needed.

SWFAS is the most comprehensive substance abuse treatment and prevention program in Southwest Florida, serving 6,000 people per year from ages 9 to 90. SWFAS offers outpatient and residential programs for both adults and youngsters from five locations in Lee County and two in Hendry County. In addition, SWFAS provides detoxification services for adults, prevention programming, and an Employee Assistance Program for about 80 Southwest Florida businesses.

SWFAS services are not free. Fees are charged on a sliding scale, based on family income. In many cases, private insurance is accepted. SWFAS is a United Way agency.