Another step for Stepping Stone

By Frank Lewis -

The clinical services for Stepping Stone House residents is now housed in a beautiful new facility on Gallia Street in New Boston, and Thursday afternoon, it was the site of a maternity meeting. When you enter the building, two things are evident immediately -it is neat and it is functional.

Mary Irwin, The Counseling Center Women’s Treatment director, was on hand and explained the need for the new facility.

“We need to increase the access for our women who are either pregnant or who want to bring children with them to treatment,” Irwin said. “We will be providing clinical services, individual counseling, case management, and group counseling, those types of services.”

There is probably no one prouder of the new building than Sherry Holbrook, a registered nurse and outreach specialist who is program coordinator of the Maternal Outpatient Program. So she was in the process of giving those involved in the meeting a guided tour.

Gina Collinsworth, public information officer for Compass Community Health Care Center, was a part of that tour and talked about the conversion from a basketball court to a suite of offices.

“Case managers, counselors, and other offices are here,” Collinsworth said as she motioned toward the doors along one wall of the facility.

One side of the room is devoted to what is referred to as the Care Closet, and those on the tour were impressed.

“The Care Closet is an incentive program for women that are in continuing care, and it is an opportunity for women to earn Care Cash to purchase items in the Care Closet,” Holbrook said. ‘The items are new and the mother can earn these rewards such as diapers, wipes, and clothing,”

Holbrook said the mother can earn the rewards by doing recovery-oriented activities like group attendance, seeing their counselors and their behavioral therapist as well as negative drug screens, going to a scheduled doctor appointment and Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. In addition to things for the children, there are items for mothers as well including personal hygiene products and home items such as pots and pans

“Those things earn money for the Care Closet,” Holbrook said. “She can earn at least a minimum of a pack of diapers and new clothes a week for her kids.”

Collinsworth said anyone wishing to donate new items for the Care Closet may bring them to the administrative offices on 11th Street in Portsmouth and tell them the items are for the Care Closet, and they will be taken there.

Stepping Stone House, a residential treatment program for women is a treatment facility at 1409 Second Street in Portsmouth, which specializes in substance abuse services. They provide residential long-term treatment options for those who enroll.

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.