CONWAY — Endeavor House has opened. It is the first recovery-living house in Conway.
At Endeavor House, up to nine women can live there while working on their recovery path from addiction to integrate back to family and community.
The house is a project of Mt. Washington Valley Supports Recovery Coalition, which received its occupancy permit at 1620 E. Main St. in Center Conway (formerly the Echo Property) at the end of January.
MWV Supports Recovery is an IRS-recognized 501(c) organization providing free awareness, treatment avenues and relapse prevention programs for individuals and families experiencing substance use disorder.
In October 2016, MWV Supports Recovery purchased the buildings and in January 2017 opened a family resource center and peer support program. The project required zoning board approval and review, septic design, plumbing, heating, fire protection and alarm upgrades.
The process to obtain the permit took 14 months and is now housing its first occupants.
“We were beginning to lose hope that our community would not embrace our programs and presence," said the non-profit's founder and president, Janice Spinney, "but my heart has been touched by the outpouring of so many in these last months during this holiday season — not just with financial support but with true support for our programs."
As of Tuesday, Endeavor House was home to three women but is expected to be hosting five by the end of next week.
Those living at Endeavor House must participate in recovery coaching or a 12- step program, pay rent of $135 per week and obtain employment within two weeks of residence. The recovery coaching is free for residents.
"We have scholarship funding," said Spinney.
In another wing of the facility, MWVSR offers family resource center and free peer support programs to men and woman in the community.
"Endeavor House is for women," said Spinney. But "the whole recovery center is for everybody."
In addition to recovery coaches, MWVSR will host Master Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor Melissa Fernald on site twice per week.
There are "big plans" for 2018, said Spinney. She said they plan to hire a 30-hour-a-week program director. They also plan to create a "butterfly trail" at the back of the property. It will be a small footpath to memorialize those who were lost to addiction. It will include three gardens designed to attract butterflies.
"We have lost quite a few in the last couple of months," said Spinney.
The facility will be managed by Alexa Lee Wansor.
"She is the pulse of this place," said Spinney of Wansor. "She manages her own recovery but she helps the girls who have moved in manage their's and makes them stick to the protocols we've laid out for them to do."
One of the new Endeavor House residents, Kiley Dulac, 20, of Dover, said she came to Endeavor House after spending time at a rehabilitation center called Friendship House in Bethlehem.
"A lot of things happened in southern New Hampshire, bad memories," said Dulac. "I wanted to relocate, and Conway is a beautiful place."
Dulac said her counselor had good things to say about Endeavor House, so she applied and got in. Dulac had praise for Wansor.
"I've only been here a night, but we have connected a lot," said Dulac adding she can relate to Wansor. "It seems like a good place. I have good feelings about it."
N.H. Charitable Foundation provided a grant to replace the 70-year-old boiler at the house with the help of the N.H. Heating Council and White Mountain Oil.
The Dorothy and Robert Goldberg Foundation provided two grants in the past 13 months to allow MWV Supports Recovery to open the family resource center and perform most of the upgrades needed at Endeavor House.
Zeb's Community Foundation recently awarded it a grant to be used to train additional recovery coaches to staff the programs. Many local individuals and small organizations helped with large and small donations to support the programs.
To help raise money, MWV Supports Recovery has held three recovery walks, a "Chopped" competition, a holiday pie sale, pizza nights, two Joseph's Spaghetti Shed dinners and other small fundraisers over the past few years.
"We will have a ribbon cutting in the spring," said Spinney. "Anybody who has contributed to our cause in the last 14 months will be invited to the ribbon cutting/grand opening."
MWV Supports Recovery can be reached at (603) 662-0668, for a peer support calendar at mwvsupportsrecovery.org on Facebook at MWV Supports Recovery.
For updates and more information, check out Alexa Lee (The Addicts House) on Facebook.