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Angel House is expanding. And that means more women in recovery from addiction can get help
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Angel House Director Angela English, right, and case manager Brooke Boyette on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, tour the inside of a space the nonprofit will use to increase the capacity of its residential recovery program for women. - photo by Scott Rogers

After months of work, Angela English finally got the go-ahead she needed to serve more women struggling with addiction.

“It’s been a lot of tears and sweat, but now that we have that permit, I cannot be more happy,” said English, director of Angel House on Maple Street in Gainesville.

The permit will allow her to transform a warehouse into a larger space for Angel House’s residential recovery program for women, increasing from 16 to 25 beds.

Earlier this year, the program targeting alcohol and drug addiction added an intensive outpatient program.

Case manager Brooke Boyette said they are still working on how the outpatient program will work, as they plan to run it through their main office and run the residential program from the offices in the revamped warehouse.

English said the warehouse presents a “huge upgrade” considering they are moving from a 3,000-square-foot space to a 6,400-square-foot building.

That means bigger kitchens, pantry and bathrooms for the residents.

“They are going to have a lot more room to be here. It’s going to be a lot more comfortable for them,” said English, who noted there are few residential programs for women in recovery.

Boyette said Angel House accepts women from all over the state, with many fulfilling mandates from the judicial system and the accountability courts. She has seen referrals from Hall County’s Family Treatment Court, which strives to help parents with substance abuse issues, and Angel House has reached out to Drug Court programs across the state.

According to its website, potential residents are screened and must be at least 18 years old, clean for at least 72 hours and not be pregnant. 

“The way that it’s evolved over the last, I’d say, three or four years is it’s not just a sober living facility anymore. Women come in, they have to work full time. They lack a lot of privileges that a lot of other sober-livings offer as far as cars and phones and weekend passes. They have to earn those things here,” Boyette said.

They hope to have the new space open in June. 

English said it will likely take $25,000-$40,000 and require loans and fundraising to reach that goal. One of biggest steps ahead is furnishing the living space with beds, chairs and accessories.

“Her vision for it is going to be beautiful,” Boyette said.