Working within a small house on the corner of First Street, individuals support the mission of providing residential treatment for substance abuse to Galveston and Brazoria County women without financial resources. Because treatment occurs at no cost to the women, support for the mission of ADA House extends to financial matters.

Ellie Hanley, Executive Director, recently told me that it costs about $132 a day to sustain each woman in the program. This amount covers room and board as well as intensive treatment. Any islander who compares this figure to the cost of one night’s stay in a low-budget hotel has to be impressed, especially since the women engage in 30 hours of group sessions weekly along with daily 12-Step meetings and individual counseling.

How does ADA House get the funding that it needs? A contract through the Gulf Coast Center (MHMR) and United Way Mainland Communities fund part of the daily cost. Funds from the Island United Way also help, but the amount that ADA House gets from the general pool has dwindled in recent years. As Ellie noted, the mission can’t be met with such monies, so she leads an effort to secure dollars through grants, donations, and fundraisers.

Anyone who has ever raised funds knows the challenge. It’s somehow less daunting to ask people to support rescue efforts or to manage a well-publicized crisis. Ellie said, “It’s not as if I can show people cute pictures of kittens or plans for a new building. I’m asking people to pay for day-to-day operations. People need to know that money given to ADA House restores lives and repairs families.”

The money is well spent. Over 2000 women have received treatment through ADA, each linked to families in local communities. Some women are challenged by co-existing mental illness, HIV positive status, or Hepatitis C. The success of even one such woman makes an enormous impact on other lives. One outcome study by the State of California reports that each dollar spent on such treatment has an average return of $7. Treatment expense is really an investment as opposed to a cost.

Even as they recover, the women of ADA House contribute to their communities. Because recovery in its full sense means recovering a productive and meaningful life, the women give time to community efforts.

If you work at the UTMB and give to the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC), you can designate ADA House, listed as Alcohol/Drug Abuse Women’s Center, as a recipient using the code number 321001. Such designated donations have risen recently, and Ellie hopes that the trend will continue. Let’s sustain the hope. Call 763-5516 with a donation!

Suzanne M. Peloquin
Professor Emeritus and occupational therapist
School of Allied Health Sciences, UTMB