community garden at the empowerment center

What’s New at The Empowerment Center?

The Empowerment Center is dedicated to helping women who suffer from substance use disorders restore their dignity and quality of life. Since you’ve last heard from us, a lot has changed! We’ve been expanding client services, updating our programming, providing medication-assisted treatment onsite, and remodeling our rooms to better support everyone who walks through our doors. Here’s what our updates look like:

Our 5-Month Pathway to Success

Did you know? The Empowerment Center recently increased our clients’ stays from 4 to 5 months.

Why is this important? There’s so much that goes into helping women in recovery, especially women who’ve recently experienced homelessness or incarceration, and we were finding that our 4-month program felt a little bit rushed. By expanding to 5 months, The Empowerment Center is reducing recidivism and increasing clients staying in recovery. We’ve updated our signature program, so when each client comes in, we have more time to evaluate her unique needs: from housing to medical, including primary care, women’s care, peer support, counselors, therapists, and workforce development. Our new first month focuses on the clinical: how we can help our clients become healthier humans, longer term? We’re waiting until our clients are fully acclimated and medically stable before beginning workforce development.

When our clients arrive, they’re given an orientation manual, laying out everything they’ll accomplish in their 5 months with Empowerment. They read through the expectations of each phase, begin working with their providers on key sections, and set up appointments with on- and off-site providers. When they advance to Phase II, we start talking to them about reentering the workforce. We begin by helping our clients identify employment and educational goals they’re excited about. Then, we tailor resume building, interviewing, and hard/soft skill development to match their aspirations! We’re working with Noelle Gravallese, our new Director of Clinical Services, to ensure that our upgraded 5-month program amplifies every woman’s opportunities for success.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

We’re using the latest research on the population we serve to incorporate an evidence-based model to end cycles of homelessness and continued use. An important piece of this is MAT: using medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to help patients sustain recovery.

We’ve brought in an on-site psychiatric provider to prescribe and administer MAT: Dr. Brandee Shipman, our new Medical Director. This separates us from other programs and allows us to offer a higher level of support. Brandee believes that although the physical and the mental have long been separate in our health system, continuing to work this way would do everyone a disservice. She explains, “By integrating the two, we can help people live their best lives.” Dr. Shipman splits her time between our Empowerment Center treatment center, our Marvel Way sober-living apartments, and her private practice. As we expand our apartment complex at Marvel Way, we aim to add an on-site outpatient program to assist clients at every stage of recovery.

Room Remodels

At The Empowerment Center, we recognize that, for 5 months, our rooms are our clients’ homes. And, studies show that a clean and safe living environment encourages success in recovery from addiction and other psychiatric disorders.

With the help of generous donations from Molena, Silver Summit, and other supporters, we’re giving a refresh to every room. We’re repainting walls, replacing beds and comforters, installing new vanities and mirrors in bathrooms, and adding TVs, mini-fridges, and other furnishings. We’re excited about how our rooms have turned out – but still have a few spaces left to go. We’re currently fundraising (email link) to complete our room remodels

Garden Update

There’s overwhelming evidence that gardening, spending time outdoors, and eating well are supportive of mental health. Gardening is tranquil, allows us to modify and improve our environment, and encourages the appreciation a predictable cycle of life in times of rapid change.

Our community gardens at The Empowerment Center and Marvel Way do all of this – and are just one of the many ways we incorporate experiential programing to help our clients develop balanced lifestyles. We work with our clients to determine which vegetables and herbs they’re most excited to grow, discuss what does best in our desert environment, take care of plants together, and enjoy their bounty throughout the season. This year, we’re excited to watch our tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers thrive.

Charity Golf Tournament

On August 25th, the Empowerment Center will receive the proceeds from the 4th Annual Mountain West Builders Charity Golf Tournament. Marvel Way was constructed by Mountain West just last year, and we’re looking forward to partnering with them at this event!

The tournament will be held at the Toiyabe Golf Club. While tournament registrations are already full, they’re still looking for supporters to sponsor designated holes (2 available,  $600 each), silent auction items, and raffle prizes. Visit Mountain West’s website for more information.