Grant helps Army serve women

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by Daniel de Castro – 

The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division recently got a much-needed boost to reach out to homeless women suffering from alcohol and drug addiction through a generous grant from a local foundation.

The $51,000 grant from Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation will allow the Army’s Family Treatment Services facility to work collaboratively with the Institute for Human Services (IHS), a well-known homeless shelter, to stabilize the lives of homeless women served by the shelter.

Each year, more than 500 women enter the shelter. Between one-third to one-half of them have been determined by their intake assessment to be in need of substance abuse treatment for crystal methamphetamine (ice), heroin, alcohol or cocaine addiction. Approximately one-third of those needing treatment are also dually diagnosed with mental illness and illegal substance addiction.

Although the latter concern has been met through psychiatric services provided by the shelter, the substance abuse needs have remained unmet until The Salvation Army offered its services. IHS has heard of the Army’s success in dealing with drug abuse treatment, and sought a collaborative partnership to fill the gap. Now, through the help of the grant, The Salvation Army has begun addressing treatment needs for women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

“It’s a small program with one counselor and it is in its crawling stages, but it has great promise,” says Claire Woods, executive director of the Family Treatment Services. Woods adds that women thought to be “unreachable” have started to enter into a trusting relationship with the counselor, and have shown great potential for treatment and rehabilitation. She believes it’s a big first step to help rebuild these women’s lives.

The partnership between IHS and The Salvation Army is an example of how two service providers can effectively work hand in hand to provide a much-needed service with compassion, dignity and respect, recognizing the individual’s capacity for change.

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