United Way-funded programs:
The Transitional Living program provides a safe, supportive and family-friendly environment where women begin to put recovery into practice. Offering a range of prevention, treatment and support services that address the effects of addiction, Meta House provides services that are comprehensive, financially accessible, culturally competent, and clinically effective.
The Smoke-Free Mothers, Healthy Babies program builds on the agency’s history of healthy birth outcomes for pregnant women with substance use disorders. Studies show that if a woman quits smoking at the same time she stops using alcohol and other drugs, her likelihood at achieving a long-term recovery increases by 25%. This program offers women in residential treatment at Meta House a comprehensive smoking cessation program that includes a wide variety of supports.
Founded in 1963, United Way partner since the 1970s
Issue areas: Health, Healthy Birth Outcomes
Tell us about the community members you serve:
Addiction is most often the symptom of deeply-rooted personal struggles and social injustices. The overwhelming majority of the women we serve are survivors of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. The trauma of the abuse is often what leads our women to numb their pain by turning to substances.
We typically serve around 500 women – 100 who are either pregnant or have a child under the age of one - and 250 children each year across our continuum of care (which includes inpatient residential and outpatient treatment and a sober living / recovery community). The average age of our clients last year was 35, but we served women between the ages of 18 and 74.
Women in treatment at Meta House are racially and ethnically diverse. Approximately 50% are White, 40% are African-American, 5% are Hispanic or Latina and 5% are Native American. When women first enter treatment at Meta House, the vast majority are unemployed and homeless or unstably housed. Sixty-nine percent of our clients last year had either a high school diploma or GED, had attended some college or had a college degree. 82% of clients at Meta House are mothers. One hundred percent of women at Meta House are strong, brave and determined to overcome their substance use disorder.
What does “success” look like for your agency?
Perfect success would be that we work ourselves out of a job because addiction no longer plagues any family. What keeps us motivated, though, is seeing the incredible transformation that’s possible when women and their children have access to effective, holistic treatment. Success to us looks like the woman who steps through our doors for the first time after months or years of suffering from addiction. Success to us is the woman who lapses while she’s in treatment and makes the brave decision to keep coming back. Success is women who open their hearts and minds to change, to our therapists and to their peers. Success is mothers getting reunited with their children who’ve been temporarily removed from their care because of their disease; we’re proud to say an average of 32 kids each year get reunified with their mothers at Meta House.
How does United Way funding help you achieve your mission?
Funding from United Way helps incredible transformations happen. Transformations like Robyn’s, who grew up with parents who struggled with addiction and at the age of 12, began drinking alcohol. By 16, Robyn was using cocaine. Her freshman year of college, she learned she was pregnant. The baby’s father was her boyfriend who also used substances. She fought every day to stay clean and welcomed a healthy baby girl, but quickly returned to using substances to cope with her mother’s recent death, her father’s failing health and the battle with addiction all four of her sisters were facing simultaneously. Robyn and her daughter stayed in residential treatment at Meta House for six months. Robyn continued her work in Meta House’s outpatient treatment program while living in Meta House’s recovery community. Robyn and her daughter were officially reunified, she graduated from Family Drug Treatment Court and recently celebrated three years of sobriety. Today, Robyn works as a Peer Specialist at Meta House and she and her daughter are thriving.
How can a volunteer get involved?
We post several volunteer opportunities on the United Way volunteer portal. We’re often in need of yoga teachers, meal donors and servers and groups interested in teaching living skills to our clients in residential treatment. Check out available opportunities at Meta House here.