Athena House, Santa Rosa treatment facility for women, shutting its doors Friday

A considerably-essential, females-only drug procedure facility is closing, and Shirlee Zane is furious.

The previous Sonoma County Supervisor is now, between other factors, a court docket-appointed exclusive advocate for traumatized youths in the county’s foster procedure. In that function she was just lately educated by a Boy or girl Protective Expert services officer working on her situation that, even though the child’s mom would before long be introduced from jail, there was no mattress for her in any space drug cure facility. Right until the mother had completed treatment method, she could not be reunited with her youngster.

This takes place usually, said Zane. “Because we do not have ample beds, we have to delay reunification.”

Which is why she and many others are so upset about the closure of Athena Home, the Santa Rosa-based mostly residential cure system that supplied 40 beds for ladies struggling with substance abuse.

Though the county is working to clear the most recent homeless encampment along the Joe Rodota trail, it’s losing a very long-time period residential facility that may possibly have served some of the gals camped there.

“I would like men and women had been as upset about dropping 40 drug therapy beds for women as they are about the closure of the Joe Rodota Path,” explained Zane.

Just after 33 years, Athena House finishes operations Friday, July 29, when its final 5 consumers will comprehensive their packages, according to Thomas Stuebner, CEO of California Human Growth, the facility’s dad or mum corporation.

“Athena Dwelling was a one of a kind and invaluable resource to so lots of gals and their little ones, explained Point out Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg. ”When so several are challenged with habit in the North Bay, we will need extra plans like this in our group, not much less.”

Among the the rays of hope for the endangered software: McGuire and his staff members have experienced “initial conversations” with Athena Property supporters about reviving it, “and we’ll be sitting down down in the coming weeks to go in-depth on their longterm money strategies.”

Chris Coursey, who succeeded Zane as Supervisor of District 3, explained Athena House as “a daily life modifying program” whose closure “leaves a significant gap.”

“I’m really worried about the deficiency of cure systems for females in Sonoma County ideal now,” stated Coursey, who observed that some Athena Dwelling shoppers were being capable to locate remedy in San Francisco. “It’s great they have someplace to go. But it is not as very good as being in the group where they may well have assistance from household and friends.”

Stone Home, the fortresslike building on Highway 12 that was dwelling to the Athena Property method, is now on sector, said Stuebner, along with Hope Village in Rincon Valley, which is made up of transitional houses with sober dwelling environments for a further two dozen ladies.

In accordance to a statement released by the organization in Might, the choice to close Athena Residence was compelled by a selection of aspects, together with a “drastically reduced” amount of clients served mainly because of the COVID-19 epidemic, “inadequate reimbursement charges, late payments from delayed contracts, and rampant inflation” — a confluence of activities Stuebner explained as “a great storm.”

In the meantime, in spite of attempts of Athena Home alumna Jasmine Palmer and other individuals, no deep-pocketed donor has stepped forward to buy either of the houses to preserve these courses.

“If we care about our group, this is a huge offer,” explained Palmer, a care coordinator for unhoused individuals at a Santa Rosa wellness clinic who helped manage a fundraiser for Athena House on July 23rd. That gala elevated around $20,000 — a lot less than 10% of what it would want to invest in the three tons in Rincon Valley.

“Substance use, homelessness, incarceration, mental wellbeing — they are all intertwined. We just cannot treatment about a single and not the relaxation,” reported Palmer, who pointed out that it costs $100,000 to put up a prisoner at the county jail for a 12 months. A year’s procedure at Athena Property is fifty percent that.

Palmer and her compact military of like-minded advocates have deluged Gov. Gavin Newsom with email messages, pleading for his intercession, to no avail. The scant to middling desire and engagement they’ve generated from area and condition politicians has been disappointing, she mentioned.

Zane much too, noted the deficiency of statewide desire.

“We really should be outraged, as a local community and a county, with all the billions of taxpayer pounds sitting in Sacramento,” stated Zane, referring to California’s $49 billion funds surplus.

“Yet we’re accomplishing absent with 40 treatment beds for ladies? That is outrageous — and hypocritical. Gavin Newsom is sitting down on billions of dollars, but he can not enable us with these beds. It is obscene, it really is.”