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Grant leads women and families to freedom in East Akron

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A grant to Freedom House for Women helped prevent women recovering from addiction from being evicted.

While families all over greater Akron gather around their fireplaces this holiday season, a chilling fact remains: Local women and children living in poverty are being displaced from their homes due to chemical dependency and substance abuse.

Last year, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority evicted 48 single, head-of-household mothers as a result of their substance abuse, leaving them — and their children— out on the streets. During the same period, nearly 60% of impoverished households in Akron that were headed by single women had three or four children living in them. 

Eva Moore, executive director of Freedom House for Women, is partnering with AMHA to improve these families' collective physical, mental and emotional health to end this uprooting. Her mission is a personal one: Moore once battled addiction herself. At one point, she lost both her home and her children. Now, she hopes to help women regain control of their homes, their children and their lives just like she did.

Freedom House's recovery program focuses on preserving the family unit while preventing their displacement from AMHA housing, including units at East Akron's Joy Park Apartments and Wilbeth-Arlington Homes. A $13,000 Akron Community Foundation grant allowed the program to continue with the goal of providing ongoing services so at least 65% of clients complete the program and remain clean, sober and in AMHA housing. 

"Recovery is an ongoing process for the formerly addicted," Moore said. "It's crucial that the exit strategy not cut (clients) off from the intervention abruptly." 

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