The largest addiction treatment facility for women in West Virginia is a work in progress in Ohio County.
7news took an exclusive tour of the Serenity Hills Life Center Friday morning with Executive Director Sharon Travis.
Travis called this a labor of love, working for more than a year to buy the property the former Paul the VI pastoral center, a place she now believes will transform lives.
Modeled after the Caron Foundation, the center will be specifically for women. Sharon said she was tired of sitting back not making a difference.
“I had a nephew that died from a drinking problem in a car crash and that really affected me to the core,” said Travis.
$3 million in funding comes partly from a state grant from the McKesson Law suit and partly from the Ryan Brown bill, an initiative for more treatment beds.
“You have someone who’s maybe in the hospital because they have an abscess from using and they almost died, and then you have to find a bed for them, and there’s no bed, you know you have a short opportunity, if you put them back on the streets they’re using again,” said Travis.
150 acres will house 72 beds in patient beds, outpatient services, a home for pregnant mothers and a halfway house.
The facility will be state of the art; a chef, a gym, sauna, and exercise classes, massage therapy, a chapel, pet therapy, music therapy, fishing, and hiking trails.
“They’re away from the life, it’s a place for them to be safe and heal and not have to worry about anything and find themselves,” said Travis.
Ohio Valley women will have first priority, then West Virginians; specifically pregnant women, IV users, and women who have overdosed in the past 30 days.
The center will even work side by side with first responders.
“We will dispatch one of our trained specialists out to the scene we’ll follow them over to the hospital, speak with family, and when that person comes to start talking about recovery right away,” said Travis.
The center will staff 50 including a nurse practitioner and psychiatrist.
A capital campaign launches today, Sharon said she’s asking for the community’s support for the center she calls the missing link in the fight against drugs.
“A community came together and you know the different parts came together and changed a town. And we always talked about re-inventing Wheeling, well this is re-inventing lives,” said Travis.
To donate to the capital campaign visit www.serenityhillslifecenter.org