A home for women in recovery, and their children, plans to open in the Bangor area in the coming months.
It will replicate the mission and work of the McAuley Residence, run by Northern Light Mercy Hospital in Portland, which houses 15 women and up to 30 children, and offers therapeutic options on site, said Melissa Skahan, vice president of mission integration at the hospital.
“We are hopeful to work out all the details to begin to serve folks in this calendar year,” Skahan said. “We’re excited. It’s pretty special work.”
The hospital does not have a location in the Bangor area planned yet, and it is currently working out a contract with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which would put roughly $500,000 toward the endeavor, Skahan said. The hospital received word in June that it was the successful bidder after the department put out a request for proposals.
The McAuley Residence, originally started by the Sisters of Mercy several decades ago, has evolved into a two-year program for women with substance use disorders, and their children under the age of 10. It’s served about 100 families over the past decade.
Though each woman’s care is different, their initial time at the home is largely focused on ensuring they have high-quality substance use treatment and primary care, Skahan said. Bangor’s home would do the same.
In addition to connecting with providers off site, women also receive therapy and other interventions on site. They work with a parent coach and, if they have lost custody, coordinate with Child Protective Services and others to set the stage for reunifying with their children.
Later on in the program, women focus on school, work and financial planning. Finally, they have to secure housing to transition out of the home.
It is considered a highly structured environment with random drug tests, curfews and other rules.