September 3, 2014

Medina
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Funding sought for Medina women’s halfway house

MEDINA — Administrators of a men’s-only halfway house appealed to the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission on Monday to request additional funding to open it to women, too.

Randy Jarrell, house director of Cathy’s House, 515 W. Liberty St., told the commission there’s been a need for a women’s halfway house in the county for years, but only recently has the house been in the position to open to women.

An addition on the left side of Cathy’s House, a halfway house at 515 W. Liberty St., Medina, soon should house six women recovering from drug abuse and alcoholism. Administrators at the house appealed to the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission on Monday for more funding to open the addition for women. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY NICK GLUNT)

“In the summer, the (Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board) approached us and asked us to open a women’s facility,” Jarrell said. “So we added a left side to the house, and here we are.”

In order to open it to women, though, Jarrell said they need more money from MCDAC and other donors.

Jarrell asked the commission Monday to give $31,000 in yearly grant money instead of the $20,000 it was awarded previously.

He said he hopes to hold an open house for the new addition in June.

Cathy’s House has helped about 600 men overcome drug abuse since 1998. There are 10 beds for men at the house, and Jarrell said the women’s side will have six beds.
The commission praised the work the house was doing.

William J. Koran, superintendent of the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center and the commission’s school representative, said the addition to the house is a welcome and necessary step.

“You’ve been a great partner, not just a grantee,” Koran told the commission. “You’re doing great work.”

Accompanying Jarrell at the meeting was Christine Demlow, drug court administrator for Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier’s weekly Narcotics Anonymous-like drug court sessions.

“Cathy’s House’s relationship with the drug court is invaluable to the success of both sides to get these people’s lives turned around,” Jarrell told the board.

Demlow agreed.

“My day — all day, every day — is filled with drug addicts and alcoholics,” she said. “And the women have the hardest time. There’s just nowhere for these women to go.”

She told the board she saw a 19-year-old woman come into drug court who had been using drugs with her mother since she was 12 years old. The woman, whose parents were divorced, moved in with her father.

“I started to see a real change,” Demlow said.

Her mother later became homeless and her father took her in, too.

“And the next week, she had a positive test,” Demlow told the commission. “I see this all the time.”

Demlow said having a women’s halfway house in the area would go a long way to helping women like that 19-year-old.

“If they’re living somewhere where there’s drugs or alcohol present, they just have no chance,” she said.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.