LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Renewal House
Development Director: Jennifer Wheeler
Raising a family while battling an addiction can be an impossible task without the right support system. So many mothers struggle with the challenge of getting back on their feet and overcoming addictions, while trying to foster healthy relationships with their children. Meet Jennifer Wheeler, Development Director of Renewal House, a non-profit agency that promotes recovery for both addicted women and their children. Located in the Bordeaux area of Nashville, Renewal House is Middle Tennessee’s first, largest, and most comprehensive recovery program for families to rebuild their foundations together.
Renewal House was founded in 1996 by a group of visionary community leaders who recognized a need for a recovery program that would allow addicted women in treatment to remain with their children. Renewal House makes it possible for families to heal together, causing more women to seek help without the added fear of separation. With a residential program, an outpatient program, and recovery housing, the Renewal House community provides in-depth options that promote each woman’s individual success.
Because of its small size, the team at Renewal House has the ability to hone in on each family and establish personal plans for their successful recovery. It is the depth of care that the staff gives the families that separates Renewal House from other treatment programs. “We are working on life skills,” says Jennifer. The women at Renewal House learn how to budget, keep a calendar, and maintain self-responsibility, along with in-depth parenting skills. “We want to break the chain of addiction and poverty so they can succeed in the real world. We’re giving them all the tools that they need.”
For Jennifer, Renewal House is a family that has been together for nearly twenty years. Witnessing the women and children Renewal House has served now pursuing their dreams, whether it be a woman who is pursuing a career in the field of treatment and recovery or a child who has reached college age and is attending Vanderbilt University, provides extreme gratification for the entire team. “It is so rewarding to see that this really works and that these women truly succeed,” she says, “And perhaps the most beautiful part is watching the women within the program bond and support each other as they journey to a sober and fulfilled life.”
Because Renewal House is a non-profit, they rely heavily on donations to help provide these women with such expansive tools for success. They also have a range of volunteer opportunities for those interested in hands-on involvement, and are beginning a new event on May 14, “The Night Out,” to celebrate the strength of women. For more information, visit their website below.