Giving Hope

Chaz Butler shares what the Hope House of Augusta is doing for the women in our community

 This month, the Hope House of Augusta is celebrating twenty-nine years of service in our community, having served over seventeen hundred women and their families with substance use and mental health challenges since 1992. Hope House is a non-profit organization dedicated to giving women their lives back and helping them find their self-worth. “We are a long-term residential treatment facility for women. We are all about self-sufficiency and we are here to provide comprehensive treatment through mental health services, relapse prevention, and everything from interview skills to finding a job,” says Chaz Butler. “We are trying to break the generational ‘curse’ of substance use and untreated mental health illness.”

  With five different programs available, the Hope House is able to serve a wide variety of women. The programs they offer are PPW (Pregnant and Postpartum Women), Basic Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, Offender Reentry Program, and TCC (Therapeutic Childcare Center).

  The Basic Residential Treatment allows women to live on campus at the Hope House for usually nine months. Hope House provides everything from housing to transportation. The apartments are fully furnished with either one, two, or three bedrooms assigned based on how many children the mom has. “We give them relapse prevention, trauma therapy, individual therapy, and anger management, anything they need... we make sure they get,” says Chaz.

  The PPW program is designed to help women who are pregnant and postpartum up to twelve months. They have found this program to be a great way to bring in those women who, unfortunately, have an active addiction while pregnant. “Our goal is to have a drug free birth so that the children that are coming to this world are ready to go and not have to go in the NICU or get them off of drugs,” says Chaz. These women are offered parenting advice, Mommy and Me classes, housing, relapse prevention, and much more.

  The Outpatient Program is for women who already have a stable place to live. Hope House still provides the same things as the Basic Residential such as relapse prevention, trauma therapy, individual therapy, anger management, and employment and education services, but these women don’t live on campus.      

  With the Offender Reentry Program, Hope House works with the surrounding counties in our area and with the prison systems to accept women who are coming out of prison. Chaz says, “They come to us and we teach them how to live life again. A lot of our girls have, unfortunately, been behind bars for a year or two. We teach them healthy coping skills and that means how to not run back to drugs and alcohol, and how to navigate the world once they are on the other side of it.”

  “The TCC [Therapeutic Childcare Center] program is a huge piece of what we do,” says Chaz. “What makes us so special and unique is that we allow kids on campus with their mom.” With a whole program dedicated to the kids, they offer everything from after school tutoring to therapy for the kids. “As they grow up in the crazy world we live in, we want to make sure they don’t resort to drugs and alcohol,” she says.

  “One thing we offer for all of our programs is case management. That means getting a new license, a new social security card if they have lost theirs, and helping them navigate what the judicial system looks like. We just hold their hands from the second they walk in the door,” says Chaz. 

  The Hope House also sees some of the women that have gone through the program come back and volunteer. “They want to give back just as it was given to them. I think that’s the coolest part of the job, watching them come back and volunteer or donate,” says Chaz. “That means that the lightbulb came on for them. They fully got not only what recovery means, but what it means to be a woman in recovery, and how to be a woman helping other women. It’s a really cool cycle to see.” The Hope House currently employs eleven women who have gone through their program.

If you or someone you know struggles with substance abuse and would like to contact The Hope House, call (706)737-9879. If you would like to volunteer or donate, you can contact Chaz Butler by email cbutler@hopehouseaugusta.org

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