NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) – The once empty house that sits on Spring Street in New Albany is now full of new residents.
“I feel like today is the beginning of the rest of my life,” Marlena Manship, one of 8 women in recovery, living in the home, said.
The halfway house is called The Breakaway, created for women who want to break away from their addiction.
“This is going to be really good for me and my future and being able to heal from all of the things that I've been broken from for so long,” Manship said.
Its doors opened on Monday. Women immediately started to move in and get settled, excited to turn their lives around.
“I was pretty much killing myself out there. I knew that I couldn't stop it, so this is really going to give me my life back and give me a chance,” Alesha Doan, another recovering addict, said.
Doan came to The Breakaway straight from Orange County, Indiana Jail. She told WHAS11 News that she's been in recovery for almost year now, but getting clean behind bars is different than choosing to stay clean once you're out.
“Just being in jail just keeps you away from drugs and once you get out, you're going to want to do them. So this is supposed to help you learn to live a sober life, help you deal with your problems,” said Doan.
Each bed was assigned and draped with a quilt donated by local churches. It's a quilt the women can take with them once they've finished the program, and also one they can hold onto through the difficult nights.
“Nights, it seems like, is a really hard when you struggle when you're first getting clean so, because you get in your head and you think the worst of yourself so, the blanket is kind of like a security blanket,” The Breakaway’s Executive Director, Lisa Livingston said.
Livingston is a recovering addict herself, who had a dream to help women live a life they're proud of, just like she has now. She fought hard over the last year to open a halfway house for women.
“We get to see these women love their self again and we get to love them back to life.”
It's a 6 to 9-month program. The women are responsible for chores and finding a job.
They have to have a job within two weeks because it's self-supporting, it's not only about not using drugs and alcohol, it's about learning how to live life on life's terms, pay your bills, have a driver’s license and be legal,” Livingston said.
The Breakaway is currently housing eight women, but eventually, it will hold 14. Livingston says there's already a waiting list of 100 names long and she can't wait to help the women on that list, next.