VOA Mid-States helps Clay County mother build foundations for long-term sobriety and a hopeful life

January 30, 2024

“I had become lost, broken and hopeless. I didn’t think that I would escape addiction,” said Kelsey Couch, a local Clay County mother and VOA Freedom House graduate.

Kelsey Couch grew up in Clay County. At an early age, she struggled with depression and anxiety and never learned how to process traumatic events from her past. Her struggle with mental health continued to escalate until she turned to substances to try and solve her problems.

“I was a runner. I ran from my problems. I didn’t like feeling anything so I would use drugs to escape,” Kelsey said.

For 15 years, Kelsey struggled with substance use disorder. She had three children, and her family took care of them while her addiction continued to progress. In September of 2022, Kelsey found herself homeless and she decided something needed to change.

“My family stopped doing anything for me because they told me, ‘You have to get help or we aren’t going to help you,’” Kelsey said.

On September 2, 2022, Kelsey found Freedom House.

“Somebody told me about Freedom House and that you can actually bring your kids. I had never heard of a rehab where you can bring your kids,” she said. “That was the deciding factor. I was like, that’s where I need to be.”

While at Freedom House, Kelsey worked with a team of clinical therapists to learn how to overcome substance use disorder and process her past traumas in a healthy way. She also learned how to be a successful parent while maintaining her sobriety.

Kelsey graduated from the Freedom House program in November 2022 and moved into the organization’s new Women’s Transitional Living in Manchester.

VOA’s Transitional Living Program provides a sober living environment for women with young children who are in recovery from substance use disorder. The program aims to increase housing stability, as lack of safe, affordable housing can be a major barrier to long-term recovery.

“It allowed me to utilize what I learned at Freedom House and put it into practice and still have the structure and accountability that I needed,” Kelsey said.

The Transitional Living Program allows Kelsey to save money and pursue her goals while she continues to go to therapy and build a foundation for sustained recovery.

Today, Kelsey continues to live at VOA’s Transitional Living Program while she locates stable, long-term housing for herself and her three kids. With VOA’s support, she has been able to earn her Peer Support Certification and start a career as a Recovery Support Technician at Freedom House.

“I feel like I’m still growing, but I’ve learned so much and I’m becoming the person and mother I’ve always set out to be,” Kelsey said.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, VOA can help. Learn more at https://www.voamid.org/locations/freedom-house/.