Recovery House For Opioid Addicts Opening In Dodgeville

It's First Of 4 Homes For People Recovering From Opioid Addiction To Continue Healing

recovery house for rural residents with opioid addiction in Dodgeville
A new recovery house for rural residents with opioid addiction will soon open in Dodgeville, Wis. Photo courtesy of Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program

A new recovery house for rural residents with opioid addiction will soon open in Dodgeville.

Five or so women will move into the home called Opportunity House in May, becoming the first residents to participate in Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program’s effort to improve opioid rehabilitation in rural Wisconsin.

“Rural America doesn’t have a lot of recovery,” said Kimberly Hill, director of the Recovery Pathway Program, which operates under Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, or SWCAP.

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The opioid crisis has hit the state hard; 916 people died of an opioid overdose in Wisconsin in 2017, according to the state Department of Health Services.

Hill, who serves as the Opportunity House coordinator, said residents will have access to wraparound services such as counseling and medication-assisted treatment. They’ll be required to attend three recovery meetings each week and volunteer or work at least 30 hours per week.

Residents will pay a fee of about $400 per month, which will cover both rent and resources.

The goal is to provide people recovering from addiction with safe, supportive environments to continue healing.

“When these people are discharged from the emergency room or wherever they’re coming from, there’s a real concern that they’re going to go back to an environment that’s not healthy and that’s going to contribute to their addiction rather than help them get out of their addiction,” said Walter Orzechowski, executive director of SWCAP.

Hill, who is in recovery herself, said homes like these also work because they foster community and accountability between people with shared experiences.

“You need connection. That’s just the way we’re made as humans,” Hill said. “Anybody can stay abstinent for some sort of length of time, but to really recover and really start living, that’s a whole different story and that takes a village.”

Residents will also be able to draw support from their neighbors. The Dodgeville home is in walking distance to a grocery store, food pantry, library and drug court.

“This is not to keep people away from society. This is to keep people integrated back into society,” Orzechowski said.

Unlike typical sober or “halfway houses,” Opportunity House will not limit residents’ stay.

“It’s not a transitional house,” said Hill. “We want this to be their home.”

SWCAP began submitting grant proposals to fund Opportunity House about a year ago and has been making strides ever since. The organization plans to eventually open four homes in Dodgeville and Richland Center for both men and women recovering from opioid addiction.

Applicants must demonstrate they are no longer using drugs in order to be eligible for the homes, and their residence is contingent upon remaining sober, said Orzechowski.

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