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Aloha House purchases home for women in recovery

Aloha House purchased a large home in Kahului last week to offer women in recovery and their children a safe and comfortable space before they rejoin the community. With the help of county funds and donations, the home includes multiple bunk beds, new bedding, kitchen supplies, toys and more. Caprice Nicole Photography

The Maui News

A substance abuse recovery program has opened a safe and comfortable living option for recovering female addicts who are working to rejoin the community.

Aloha House purchased a home in Kahului last week from Halama Properties LP using funds from Maui County’s Affordable Housing Fund to create a sober living facility for women and their children.

The facility, which will be run by Malama Family Recovery Center, will provide a safe environment for those in the recovery process from substance abuse and addiction. Aloha House and Malama Family Recovery Center are both under Maui Behavioral Health Resources.

Studies show that having the extended support of a sober living home increases clients’ recovery success rates by over 50 percent.

“This fills an important need for women in recovery,” Development Director Malia Bohlin said in a news release. “Once clients have completed their substance abuse treatment, sober living homes provide a vital safety net for clients who may not have a safe home to go back to, or do not have one that supports their sober living goals.”

With the help of community volunteers, new clients are already able to move into the home, Bohlin said.

Mino McLean, Realtor for Island Sotheby’s International Realty, had said “We’re going to raise money and we’re going to get people to sell us mattresses.”

Mattress Firm sold organizers 17 twin mattresses for a significant discount and then the vision “all started falling in place,” McLean said.

They set a goal to raise $9,500 to cover additional expenses for the mattresses, bunk beds, the window coverings, towels, kitchen supplies and bedding, as well as smaller additions like stuffed animals, journals and other personal items to give the women a safe and clean environment.

Stephanie Malcolm from Style Maui handled the staging for the project, such as organizing the rooms to accommodate the residents and their children.

“We were completely on board with helping set up the house at any capacity,” Malcolm said. “We met the team from the Malama Recovery Center at the property to discuss the needs of the residents who would be moving in. At that point we realized that moving the contents from one home to another would be more of an exercise of putting a puzzle together.”

During the process, Malcolm reached out to local businesses for support, including We Move People LLC to move the furniture into the facility.

“Being a part of this initiative is an accumulation of my life’s journey that I’m blessed to be a part of,” said Calvin Johnson of We Move People. “In these days and times with so much going on in the world, providing someone with housing and a meal can change more than a life, it can change generations.”

Over the next few months, Aloha House will work with the community to finish the facility to get it ready for new clients.

The sober living home and property will provide specific treatment services for women in recovery from substance abuse and addiction.

“Gender specificity in treatment is critical to successful outcomes because women who use/abuse substances share common life experiences and have needs distinct from their male counterparts,” according to the organization.

Funding for the project was provided through a combination of public and private contributions, including Maui County’s Affordable Housing Fund, the Arlene and Michael Rosen Foundation, Style Maui, Mattress Firm, Island Sotheby’s International Realty and individual community donors.

“I’d like to thank the donors that helped make this new sober living home possible, and our board member, John Ferguson, who helped with the purchase,” said Jud Cunningham, CEO of Aloha House and Malama Family Recovery Center, in the news release. “The team at Island Sotheby’s has been amazing. They garnered the additional donations, and gave many of their own, to put the final touches on this house, making it a safe, comfortable and really beautiful home for our clients.”

The Malama Family Recovery Center provides outpatient and residential treatment for individuals addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs, according to the news release. The mission has since expanded to include comprehensive, family-centered behavioral health interventions for the prevention and treatment of individual and family dysfunction.

For more information, visit mbhr.org/.

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