Randy Yohe Published

Lily’s Place Funded For Residential Family Treatment Services

A dozen or so people standing in front of a building cutting a long ribbon during a cutting ribbon ceremony.
Ribbon cutting at the new Lily's Place Children's Center.
Randy Yohe/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lily’s Place is a stand alone facility in Huntington where infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, can receive specialized treatment.

The Huntington center has been awarded $514,150 per year for five years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Projects (SAMHSA) for a competitive project titled “Promoting Resiliency in Appalachian Families through Comprehensive Residential Treatment Services for Women with Substance Use Disorder that Have Children.”

Lily’s Place Executive Director Rebecca Crowder says with establishing residential services, the facility continues to build upon the original mission of serving infants with NAS by expanding services to the families of these children. 

In 2020, the Family Center was opened to provide behavioral health and supportive services to adults. The Children’s Center, providing extended counseling and preventative services to siblings, clients 18 and younger, opened this past April.

“It’s very important to take care of these mamas and their families,” Crowder said. “But we also want to work with the kids at the same time to make sure that we break that generational cycle of addiction.”

Crowder said one of the holistic ways to help prevent NAS in the decades to come is to offer apartment living for women and their children seeking recovery services that will help these families become self-sustainable.  

“They will also be able to have the access to the counseling, the case management, the peer support, as well as the Children’s Center will provide those extra behavioral health support to the children,” she said. “Support to help them cope with life situations including navigating the lifestyle of working with their parents during their journey to recovery.”

Crowder said the funding will specifically go to the project of the program that will happen at the residential facility. 

“It does sound like a lot of money,” she said. “But it is a cost sharing grant, which means it is only covering a portion of the services we will be providing and the rest we have to cover ourselves.”

Since 2014, Lily’s Place has served more than 350 babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. With Huntington having one of the highest opioid addiction rates in the country, organizers found the number of babies born with NAS increasing and knew there had to be a better way to care for them. 

They discovered the bright lights, loud beeping equipment and busy atmosphere was the opposite of what babies with NAS need most. Lily’s Place offers private rooms with a quiet atmosphere and dim lighting, which are best for babies with NAS, who are sensitive to light and sound.

The new residential treatment center is expected to begin serving families by the beginning of 2024.