With more than 40 sober living homes in Cleveland, there is no shortage of residential support systems for locals in recovery—but there are none quite like The Moms House.
The living room at The Moms HouseSlated to welcome its first residents by early February, The Moms House is a collaboration with MetroHealth’s Mother and Child Dependency Program. The sober living home will be among the first of its kind in Greater Cleveland, as most programs won’t accept pregnant residents taking medications such as Subutex and methadone as part of treatment for opioid use disorder. The Moms House will also welcome children of residents, which is somewhat atypical for a sober living situation.
“A lot of sober living homes won’t let you bring your children, but you can’t ask a woman to leave her kids,” says Jennifer Bailit, MD, founder of the Mother and Child Dependency Program at MetroHealth. “The Moms House is designed for both pregnant and parenting women, as we want to keep families intact.”
Dr. Jennifer BailitAs a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, Bailit was instrumental in bringing this project to life. Bailit first began working with pregnant patients with opiate use disorder back in 2010, and as her practice grew, it developed into the Mother and Child Dependency Program, which has served more than 1,000 women since its inception.
Around 2015, Bailit started to spark conversations around the idea of providing additional support for these MetroHealth patients with a sober living home, and The Moms House project was ultimately made possible by a significant donation from Clevelanders Jacke and Eric Wiedemer (whose father had received outstanding care in MetroHealth’s Neurocritical Care Unit).
“Our goal is to wrap a quilt of services around these women to keep them on the best track for healthy outcomes,” says Bailit. “Often women in the throes of opiate use disorder don’t have a place to stay when they try to break away; we wanted a place where pregnant women on medication–assisted therapy could go [during recovery].”
Resident supervisor Kim Glover, donor Jacke Wiedemer, and project coordinator Monica MatiaLocated in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood near MetroHealth’s campus, the 2,490-square-foot, two-story duplex can house up to three women and their children, along with resident supervisor Kim Glover. Each of the home’s units includes two bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, and a bathroom; there is also a full basement with a laundry area and additional bathroom.
“Each woman who stays here has her own bedroom with a small bassinette or tiny bed,” shares Glover, who was formerly a resident supervisor at Julie Adams House. “I want to make sure at the end of the day these women can say they’re going home—that’s important to me.”
And Bailit believes that pregnancy is the perfect time to help women commit to recovery: “We do things for our children that we wouldn’t do for anyone else, so this is a unique window of time when women are able and willing to accept help."