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Zonta Foundation awards $10,375 to SWFAS

By Staff | May 30, 2011

The Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida has awarded a $10,375 grant to Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS) to provide educational needs for women recovering from substance abuse at SWFAS’ Transitional Living Center on Dixie Parkway in Fort Myers.

The money will be used to help about 20 women pursue an education by providing tuition, educational materials, books and transportation. About $2,000 of the grant will be used to purchase a new computer and software to enable the women to complete coursework and file job applications.

Some of the funds also will be used to train staff in “Seeking Safety,” a curriculum designed to educate staff in dealing with untreated trauma that frequently exists among women with addictions.

The overall goal is to help women in recovery obtain the skills they need to earn a living wage and become self-sufficient in the workplace.

“We are so excited about this opportunity for our ladies in recovery,” said Transitional Living Center Director Rosemary Boisvert. “Our goal is to remove the barriers that prevent them from being successful. If they need financial assistance for tuition, we can help with that. If they need help with supplies or transportation to get to school or training, we can assist with that as well.

“While at SWFAS’ Transitional Living Center, the women work very hard at learning skills for the job of living in sobriety, this grant will help them build on their newfound skills and give them something more to enhance their chances of maintaining their sobriety and self-sufficiency,” Boisvert said. “We have been very fortunate to have this long lasting relationship with the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva. The Zonta Club gives our women far more than dollars. They also give of themselves.”

Zonta has been a partner with the women in the SWFAS Transitional Living Center since 2000 and has provided grants totaling $56,824 to support the needs of women recovering from substance abuse.

SWFAS opened the 16-bed women’s halfway house at the SWFAS Transitional Living Center in 2009. The women’s facility provides treatment for 40 to 50 women per year who have completed the residential treatment program and moved into the halfway house for extended treatment.

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. SWFAS is a United Way agency.

For more information, visit www.swfas.org.