Women 18-and-older in the St. Louis metropolitan area who suffer from prescription drug or heroin addictions now have an additional hurdle to overcome. With the rise of these addictions in St. Louis, one of the preeminent facilities in the region, Diane’s House, finds that it cannot satisfy the urgent demand for spots at its 10-bed center. Diane’s House is the women’s center of Teen Challenge of St. Louis, a faith-based drug, alcohol and behavioral addiction rehabilitation program located in Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of South City, Mo. Teen Challenge of St. Louis’ Board of Directors and Executive Director have begun a dedicated search to find property upon which to build to serve females in the St. Louis addict population.
In the 5 years since Diane’s House opened its doors in May 2011, the center has admitted 103 women into the program. Limited by space and city zoning laws, the center’s Program Director is frequently finding it necessary to help place candidates in other residential programs that do not offer the holistic approach that makes the Teen Challenge program successful and unique. Testimonies from Diane’s House graduates have inspired many local women who are battling addiction to apply to the program. This soaring need has created an agonizing wait for a spot at the center where admitted students learn the skills necessary to return to society as productive citizens.
To meet this growing demand, Teen Challenge of St. Louis’ Executive Director, C.R. Kersten, is determined to provide a facility for women that is similar in size and scope to their men’s center that is located on twelve rolling acres in High Ridge, Mo. “Having spent over 37 years working with individuals struggling with addiction, I know how important it is for our centers to be located in a calm, safe and cloisterlike setting. We want to offer the women the same facility advantages that we offer the men during their journey to sobriety,” says C.R. Kersten.