The past few years have let Brooke Boyette turn her life around.
In jail and struggling with an addiction to opioids, the Statesboro native found a second chance at Angel House of Georgia when she arrived at the women’s residential sober living home in Gainesville in September 2015.
By December 2016, she was completing the program, one of 230 women assisted by Angel House since its founding in 2011.
“Coming here was the most overwhelming feeling that I’ve ever had,” Boyette said. “It was scary. But after about three weeks to a month, it was home.”
Through treatment, Boyette was able to reestablish a relationship with her young daughter.
Angela English, founder and program director of Angel House, said reconnecting with their families is “one of the main goals these women have.”
Boyette now works as a case manager for Angel House, bringing her personal experience to bear on the lives of other women looking to get sober and reorient their lives.
“One thing I gained while here was financial stability,” Boyette said.
She is also training to become a substance abuse counselor.
That training will benefit Angel House in bigger ways now that it has received a certification from the Georgia Department of Community Health to open an intensive outpatient program to complement its residential program.
“It was a lot of paperwork,” English said of getting approved, a process that took three years from inception to the day in mid-June when she received the certificate in the mail.
English said the outpatient program will allow the nonprofit to expand its services to a wider community of women in need of substance abuse counseling.
“Until now, we didn’t have those credentials” to provide direct counseling, English said.
Instead, Angel House has provided case management for its residential clients, and refers these women to service providers like Avita Community Partners and the local public health department for counseling and health care.
With the state’s OK, Angel House can now offer a counseling program designed for clients to meet with counselors three days a week for 12 weeks, with each session lasting three hours. It also allows Angel House to be “in-network” with health insurance carriers.
The program has a 12-person capacity at a single time.
“I think it will teach them tools on how to manage their addiction,” English said.
The program is also designed to bring family members and friends of clients into the fold by educating them about how drug addiction affects behavior and how they can provide support through the recovery process.
“The family is a key component of this,” English said. “If the family doesn’t understand what the client is going through, it won’t work. And they need to be part of it.”