WINCHESTER, Va. - For Julie Funkhouser and Meredith Speir, the journey from addiction to recovery is a personal one.
"I have a little over nine years clean," said Speir. "My story starts with alcohol and ends with heroin. What I've learned over the years is a drug is a drug is a drug."
"Over the course of my recovery, I have lost four girls that I had sponsored, all under the age of 30," said Funkhouser. "Two of them being last year and in recovery homes."
Funkhouser and Speir saw a dire need for safe and structured housing for women in Winchester, so they bought a house in a quiet neighborhood and started 'The Recovery Connection.'
The program will cost $1,850 a month after a $150 application fee, but Speir said that is comparable to similar programs. Financial assistance is also available for residents.
"It is an all inclusive program, so you know, food, utilities, linens, all of those things are provided, plus The Recovery Connection programming, which will include recovery workshops, life skills classes, and relapse prevention," said Speir.
Funkhouser said the classes helps women with career help and basic life skills, like resume building and doing laundry.
"Not only are we helping them recover from drugs and alcohol, but the second part to that is learning how to live," said Funkhouser. "We want them to establish meaningful relationships with one another, with themselves, and with the world around them. And hopefully here, their new journey can begin here."
Funkhouser and Speir are already looking at the big picture and hope to open a second residential program for men in the future. The home in Winchester is slated to open September 1, 2018 and Recovery Connection is still accepting applications.