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New transitional housing opens, helping mothers on road to recovery

Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 21:09:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Connie Hillman Family Foundation House is a new housing program to help mothers in recovery from substance use disorders. KGUN9 spoke with a mother getting back on her feet, with the help of Tucson Medical Center and CODAC.

"I've had an addiction for the past 20 years. I've been clean for eight months and 25 days now. I've been wanting to get sober, but I never really knew how," said Erica Merriam.

After jail-time, Merriam was introduced to CODAC. She was then able to get a grasp on her road to recovery, and is now living in the Connie Hillman Family Foundation House in Tucson.

"It really is an amazing place. Its so supportive, its safe, its stable. It feels like a home. They did an amazing job on it and my son loves it. Every time he comes he's like, 'This is our home,' and I say, 'Yes, yes it is," said Merriam.

The mothers who live here will receive medical services from TMC and services from CODAC. The women will have access to life-skill training, pediatric care, and other services that will help with recovery and independence.

"When you're using, you don't tend to take care of yourself as much as you should. So having those available resources through TMC, they come in and see you, they come and see your child, and they offer educational classes, parenting classes," said Merriam.

"There aren't a lot of examples like this, where you can find such a perfect partnership. Where we bring our complimentary services together to do something wonderful," said Judy Rich, president and CEO of TMC.

The mothers are welcome to stay at the house until they are employed and are able to secure stable housing elsewhere.