SAUK RAPIDS --CentraCare is giving hope to Central Minnesota women by providing a short-term chemical dependency program and housing for women and their children.

Journey Home is a halfway house in Sauk Rapids, that was built in 2008 by CentraCare. The facility helps women, ages 16 and older, who have completed a chemical dependency treatment program. The program allows women to have their children with them while they get help.

Callee Nolden Coordinator for Journey Home and family unity says, in a world of mom's with children, mom's don't want to be separated from their children.

"Women who have substance abuse disorders often times do not receive treatment or, they do not wish to address the treatment. Because that may mean they have to leave their children behind" says Nolden.

The facility has 86 beds for women and their children (from infants to early adolescents) for an average stay of three to four months. They also have 40 board and lodging beds for women in primary treatment at Recovery Plus.

A licensed daycare is available for the children. And, if they are enrolled in school, the staff helps the parents set up transportation through the school district for their children to be picked up.

Rebecca David, WJON

For the women living at Journey Home, the facility offers 15 hours a week of chemical dependency programming and groups. They have programs covering topics such as parenting skills, relapse prevention, employment, self-esteem, relationships and etc.

While at the facility, the women have visiting days and visiting hours where they are able to see family and friends. They are also able to leave the facility for four hours on a daily basis to do whatever they want. If they want to leave for more than four hours, they need approval from their counselor.

Nolden says they are not a locked facility "the women are encouraged to be independent".

The facility helps women locally and in surrounding areas. There is currently a waiting list, however, to be considered you have  to complete a primary chemical dependency treatment program.


The facility does - under federal mandate - help women who are under high-risk needs. Those high-risk needs include pregnant women, women who are  IV drug users, and HIV-positive women.

Nolden says when the women first come in, some are positive and have goals and others are just starting to address their substance abuse.

"We have had women that have come back to us and said, you know I really didn't like being here. But I know when I left here, I found that support and I know you had faith in us. I knew you had faith in me"

It's the stories like those that give Nolden and her staff hope, that if they can help one person, they have been successful.

If you or your loved one needs help with chemical dependency substance abuse. Contact Journey Home or Recovery Plus.

There is also a man and a women's facility called Passages and, a woman without children facility as well.

"The women here are bright shining stars but, that star has become dimmed because of chemical use. So what we are able to do is shine that star and make it bright for the children and the women"