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Preston, YWCA Outline Details of The Bridge

Binghamton, NY – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston joined New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Broome County Legislator Karl Bernhardsen, members of the Broome Opioid Addiction Council (BOAC), Don Bowersox from the Department of Social Services and staff from the YWCA to announce details of The Bridge.

The Bridge provides residential supervised living arrangements with 24-hour-a-day staff coverage for up to 8 women and their children (infant and one additional child) including supportive counseling for addiction, individual counseling, case management, and supportive services such as vocational/educational and mental health counseling.

“The Bridge is essential because it helps our most vulnerable, infants who did not choose a life of drug use,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.  “This innovative housing approach provides help for the mother, but safety of the infant is its number one priority.”

“YWCA Binghamton is proud to be a proactive partner with Broome County in working toward a solution to the terrible epidemic of opiate addiction,” said Carole Coppens, Executive Director, YWCA Binghamton/Broome County. “This grant will truly allow us to break down any barrier that might prevent a mother from recovery, including access to specialized staff 7-days a week, 24-hour a day.”

Along with providing supportive housing, the initiative will provide rehabilitation, development of support systems and assistance in the development of life skills to become abstinent from illegal drugs.

And it will allow the mother to bond with her child, which is crucial during the first few months of child development. This initiative will also prevent the placement of addicted babies into specialized foster care homes saving taxpayers an estimated seventy-five percent of costs compared to when mothers and babies are placed in the foster care system and mothers are involved in the legal system.

“The first few months of a baby’s life are critically important; a time when the bond between mother and child begins,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. “This will allow for that relationship to take shape while providing them a safe and healthy environment.”

“I think it’s safe to say that most moms want what is best for their babies,” says Christie Finch, Director of Perinatal Programs at Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network.  “Parenting can be hard work and moms who are struggling with addiction do not always have the support that they need to deal with their addiction and the day to day stresses of parenting. This initiative will help them do both. “

The Bridge will begin on Monday, May 2nd.

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04/28/2016 - 12:16pm