By News 12 Staff
News 12 The Bronx
The Odyssey House Family Center on Wards Island provides substance abuse treatment as well as child care services for women with children.
News 12 spoke to one mother on Wednesday who transformed her life through the Odyssey House.
Alexis had been in and out of foster care her whole life. She fell into homelessness and started using drugs. She said now she’s living her best life thanks to the services offered by the Odyssey House.
“I don’t know where I would be without the program. I don’t know where I would be without my babies,” she said.
Alexis entered the inpatient program for women with children at Odyssey House just eight days after giving birth to her twins. She tried unsuccessfully to stop using marijuana during her pregnancy and knew if she didn’t get help that she could lose her kids.
“They have basic parenting and then I had to take nurturing parenting. Then I took Seeking Safety to talk about healthy and unhealthy relationships,” she explained.
The holistic program not only offers substance abuse treatment and services for women to be successful mothers, it also provides on-site child care.
“Being a mother is so hard in general and then if you add addiction into the picture, it’s really challenging. So, seeing a place like this that has all the treatments and all the supports for the mom and the children, it’s really remarkable,” said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, commissioner of the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support.
Alexis said she is proud of where she is today. Her 7-month old twins are healthy, she has learned to ask for help when she needs it, and she has a support system that includes fellow mothers to lean on.
“I’m ready to start my new life with my kids as a single mom. It’s going to be a little bit hard, but I made it through here,” she said.