Niagara County Supports Madonna House
Niagara County Supports Madonna House

Kathryn Kaiser, program director at Cazenovia Recovery Systems’ Madonna House, clearly states the program’s purpose: “Our residents want sobriety and we are here to help them with that.”

Kathryn Kaiser, program director of Madonna House

Kathryn Kaiser, program director of Madonna House

Madonna House will continue its residential treatment for women in recovery from substance use well into the future, thanks to Niagara County’s decision to grant Cazenovia Recovery a long-term lease extension for the property. Madonna House is located in Lockport, NY.

Eileen Dietsch, Cazenovia Recovery’s director of operations, said that the agency plans major capital improvements for the facility and now is able to seek funds from New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

“We want to invest in and significantly improve this property and OASAS would only help if we had long-term site control,” she explained.

Plans include additional recreation and leisure spaces, along with a larger kitchen for additional room for food preparation and storage. The childcare area will be enhanced, as well. According to Kathryn, “we will be able to separate infants and toddlers so they can have their own space for napping and enrichment.” Staff offices and group rooms will also be renovated to include more confidential spaces for meetings and counseling sessions. Renovations will start later in 2018.

Jenna, Madonna House resident

Jenna, Madonna House resident

The Niagara County Legislature’s vote to extend the lease followed a public hearing and two committee meetings. “The Legislature could not have been more supportive,” Eileen said. “They are aware of the opioid crisis and proactively supported legislation to ensure the health and safety of their community. Niagara County Mental Health Services Director Laura Kelemen was a partner from step one, taking the initiative to champion our cause.”

For resident Jenna, the dedicated staff, structure and “sober supports” at Madonna House guide her daily. Her goal after completing the program is to gain custody of her two children. “I am changing my entire lifestyle after using for 15 years,” she said. “I feel very safe here and comfortable to express my true self. I’m getting focused on changing thoughts and behaviors. It is making me a better person. “

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