JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – Peer recovery centers across the US had to shut down during COVID-19. A women’s home in Central Arkansas is opening back up and expanding the facility for a new men’s location.
The rooms may be empty at Next Step Women, but soon that will change. The peer recovery home for women is the first of its kind in Arkansas. It’s been here for two years. About three and a half weeks ago the facility had to not allow new intakes because of the threat of COVID-19.
“A lot of the transitional living has stopped and they have stopped accepting people into their homes due to safety measures,” Misty Evans, a certified peer support specialist said.
Evans says while coronavirus spreads, addiction recovery does not end.
“Substance abuse doesn’t stop. It continues. The disease of addiction is still destroying people’s lives even through COVID-19.”
That’s why they are reopening their doors in a safe manner. The non-profit is also expanding by opening a men’s home in Clarksville, which will have 6 beds.
“It’s very vital for our lives to come to a safe place in order to learn about our recovery. Recovery is such a new experience. It’s all a learning process.”
Evans says she knows first hand the importance of a peer recovery home like this, in a pandemic or not.
“Transitional living helped save my life. I went to a transitional program and I stayed there for a very long time. It gave me the opportunity to go back to school.”
That’s men facility is the first one for the non-profit.