ELLSWORTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The "Hills House" in Ellsworth is a treatment center for mothers struggling with addiction receive the help they need to get back on their feet while caring for their children.
The program is through the organization "Open Door Recovery" -- it was created in 2007 and has helped dozens of women get clean and lead productive lives. Barbara Royal is the Executive Director for the house, she has been apart of the mission for over 30 years. "At Hills House we're able to watch women recover and again put their babies first" Royal said. "We are very fortunate that we've had a number of moms go through our program where they have been able to re-unify and be with their children".
The program allows mothers to live in a safe place while they receive treatment, find housing or a job, learn parenting skills, etc. The key component is keeping the mothers with their children. "For every child who gets to stay connected to their mom, that ripple effect in the community is endless" Royal said. The mothers are able to stay at the house for up to 6 months. Currently, they accept women that have MaineCare, private insurance, or can self fund -- but they're hoping more people will hear about the program and donate so they don't have to turn anyone away.
Liza Parker has been at Hills House since the end of July. "I've seen more and been through more in the past two years than people will probably in their life" Parker said. "I'm beyond grateful to be here". Parker turned to heroin during what she calls her "darkest days" -- she will have been clean for a year in February. "I sold to support my habit and then I finally got caught" Parker said. "If I didn't get caught I would probably be dead -- it was pretty bad".
Parker faced felony charges and four years of jail time when she decided it was time to turn her life around. She was also pregnant with her, now 9-month-old, daughter Tianna. The Hills House is allowing her to serve her time outside of jail and head down a path of recovery and success in the meantime. "In 26 years I am finally proud of myself, I finally love myself and I am going to be able to look back and say I did this" Parker said.
For more information about Open Door Recovery's "Hills House" and how you can help, click here.