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Odyssey House Family Center Program Chosen for New SAMHSA Award

$1.4 million three-year federal grant enhances residential treatment and community services for women and children


Odyssey House has been awarded a multi-year $1.4 million services grant to enhance its comprehensive services for pregnant and postpartum women in residential substance abuse treatment. The three-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant will allow Odyssey House to address the substance abuse, medical, social and psychological needs of pregnant women and women with children with histories of substance abuse or chemical dependency. The enhanced program will also includes resources to engage the resident’s extended family members and/or significant others in the treatment process.

Dr. Peter Provet, president and CEO of Odyssey House, said this new funding is a “significant investment in the depth and range of services we offer mothers in our Family Center programs. Odyssey House’s mission is to support the whole family by helping parents achieve a sustained recovery, teaching them the life skills they need to maintain a healthy and nurturing home, and guiding them in the development of strong family and community connections. This new award gives us the resources to do more: more family therapy, more family reunification, and more community outreach.”

Women are typically confronted with multiple barriers when seeking substance abuse treatment, including a lack of targeted programs for mothers and their children that allow young families to stay together while the mother participates in residential treatment. Odyssey House has been addressing this challenge with innovative programs since 1973 when it created the nation’s first residential mother and child treatment program on Wards Island in Upper Manhattan. Since then, this pioneering family substance abuse treatment program has expanded to provide comprehensive services for up to 210 women and children in facilities that include discrete residential living areas, on-site nursery through pre-K childcare, on-site primary healthcare services (including pediatric and dental care), transitional independent living accommodations, educational and vocational programs.

With more than 40 years experience of providing continuous programming to women and their children, Odyssey House has developed a model of care that is sensitive to the specific needs of an underserved population of mostly single mothers. Evidence shows that programs specifically catering to, and providing targeted services, for pregnant women and mothers lead to longer treatment episodes – up to three times as long as programs without dedicated children’s services. Studies also found that women who entered treatment with their infants were less depressed and had higher self-esteem than mothers whose children did not accompany them into treatment

Key objectives of the “Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Program” (HMHF) include:

* improve retention, decrease symptoms of trauma, and increase family functioning;

* engage families, partners of women, fathers of children, and older children in substance abuse treatment using evidence-based Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Enhancement Therapy models; and

* decrease involvement in and exposure to crime, violence, sexual and physical abuse, and child abuse and neglect.


Odyssey House provides quality substance abuse treatment, mental health, medical, dental and housing services to vulnerable New Yorkers. Family-focused residential and outpatient treatment meets the needs of women with children, adolescents, young adults, the mentally ill, the homeless, people living with HIV/AIDS, and senior citizens. For further information on Odyssey House, please visit our website at:, or call: 212-587-5100.

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