House of Time committed to ending homelessness and addictions

House of Time committed to ending homelessness and addictions

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Ending homelessness is top of mind for several local organizations right now.

House of Time in Columbus is working with several other non-profits such as Home for Good and Columbus Regional Health on the community-wide Zero in 2016 Initiative. This initiative is to end chronic homelessness, especially for veterans across the country by the year 2016.

The initiative also aims to end all homelessness by housing 86 veterans by December 31 this year and 89 percent experiencing chronic homelessness by December 31 of next year.

The transitional recovery organization says they're focused on changing lives one day at a time, and it starts with finding homes for their clients.

The non-profit provides transitional and permanent housing for women who are homeless, 18 years and older and some who are former military.

"We are very thorough when we check our homeless, so we know for a fact they were on the street. To me its devastating. "When are trying to house those people first, so we have made it top priority for our organization," said House of Time Executive Director, Sandy Watson.

House of Time provides transitional housing for about 70 women a year at various locations in Columbus.

Ending homelessness and substance abuse seems like an impossible task but it's their ultimate goal.

Sandy Watson says they want to make sure no one is without a home particularly focusing on women.

For many women, the House of Time in Columbus is a way for them to start a new life.

"Once you have that home then all the other services can be provided for you," said Watson.

The Columbus organization is a transitional Recovery Program for Addicted and Homeless Women.

"That have a substance abuse problem and or mental illness and is 18 or over. They are allowed to come into our transitional program and work different phases of the program in order to gain the goal of sobriety," Watson added.

The women are required to work and live together, while getting treatment for various issues.

Susie, who's last name is being withheld for privacy reason, came to the House of Time 10 months ago for help.

"I came in broken. I didn't know I was an alcoholic didn't know anything about AA," said Susie.

Because of her addiction, her body started to deteriorate.

"I had liver failure and the doctor said it was because I drank," said Susie.

Watson says they're committed to transform their clients by providing quality, long term residential treatment. After following the four phases of recovery, the women are followed for a year after they leave their program.

"We had only 20 percent of our clients relapse," said Watson.

"They teach you how to live again," I had to start my life all over again," Susie explained.

For all the women staying at the House of Time, Susie says they all have one thing in common.

"Day by day is our slogan. We don't look in the past or future. One day at a time," said Susie.

The House of Time has been helping women in the valley area since 1994. The private non-profit is also in need of furniture, bedding, and other household items that may be used in the homes of the women in the community. You can contact house of time at (706) 327-6836.

According to a Georgia Homelessness Report, in 2013 nearly 17,000 Georgians were homeless. The latest numbers in Columbus show about 500 in a study by the Homeless Resource Network.

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