Women’s recovery center holds open house

Published 9:30 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

Calumet Center for Healing and Attachment (CCHA) hosted an open house for their Thyme Away Campus on Friday to share some of their success stories and give a look into the bed and breakfast turned women’s recovery center.

CCHA began five years ago in the Calumet community in LaGrange. In 2021, they moved into the former Thyme Away Bed & Breakfast on Greenville Street after it was donated by Bill and Karen Scarborough.

CCHA Executive Director Michele Bedingfield said that they had actually been looking at purchasing the former Thyme Away Bed & Breakfast to serve as a residential facility when the Scarboroughs donated the property out of the blue.

“The facility is really perfect for us,” Bedingfield said.

She said the bedrooms have their own connected bathrooms due to it being a former B&B. They kept the name “Thyme Away” as a nod to the former B&B, and it fits with what they do.

CCHA is a residential program for women and women with children after recovery from substance abuse.

The women at CCHA are currently in recovery and looking to move forward with their lives after substance abuse.

“There are no active users here. They’re clean, they’re sober, they’ve completed other programs, but they just need the support of relationships and connections, and then guidance on how to live life without addiction,” Bedingfield said. “We’re helping them get back on their feet.”

For the majority of the women, getting back on their feet means reunification with their families.

“Their family may be the mother and father. It could be their children. It could be the aunts and uncles,” Bedingfield said. “In the five years that we’ve been operating, we’ve actually had 60 reunifications.”

The facility currently has six residents (four adults and two children). She said the City of LaGrange allows them to have 10, so they could take a couple more, but they want to make sure everything is right before taking on additional residents.

Most women stay about 12 months, but some leave sooner and some stay longer if they aren’t ready to move on.

The center also offers outpatient counseling services for women and children who don’t live at the facility.

“We actually have a whole program that offers counseling as well. The main focus of the counseling is on trauma and recovery, and how to live in recovery, and it’s free of charge,” Bedingfield said. “A typical day varies for each of the women at the facility, but normally they get up and they can either eat breakfast together if they choose, or they can eat individually. It’s just almost like living in a college dorm.”

“Everyone has a job, except for one who’s a new mom, but they’re all working right now,” Bedingfield said. “They work out in the community. They may attend AA meetings or NA meetings, or they could go to Celebrate Recovery meetings. They attend Circles on Thursday. They get to visit with family and friends, so it’s just like everyday life that you and I would live.”

Bedingfield said their residential program also accepts children, unlike most similar recovery facilities. Many of their residents have chosen CCHA because they are allowed to have their children with them.

Funding for the program is currently all local, and they receive no government funding. They get a lot of support from churches, civic groups and individual donors, Bedingfield said.

On Oct. 22, CCHA will partner with Great Wolf Lodge for their annual Great West Georgia Duck Derby, where people can purchase a rubber duck to race in the lazy river at the lodge to support the women’s recovery center.