Freedom House helps break chains of addiction – SSNL

Dec 28, 2009 by     Comments Off on Freedom House helps break chains of addiction – SSNL    Posted under: news

10/15/2009 – South Side Leader ::

By Kathleen Collins

SSNL_Front-Eva-Moore-copySOUTH AKRON Eva Moore can help women facing eviction and addiction because she’s been there.

The Akron resident is the founder of Freedom House, a nonprofit that intervenes to get single mothers the help they need.

“We do an array of services that all fit together” said Moore, 47.

The mother of seven said she grew up in Akron, where a dysfunctional household and peer pressure led her to grow up too fast.

“I just basically started hanging out with the wrong kind of people,” she said, adding that she started drinking at age 12. “I ended up dropping out of school because of my addiction. Back then I couldn’t see that as a problem. I liked living that type of lifestyle.”

At 16, she was shot and hospitalized for a month, nearly losing the use of a hand. She also began a relationship with an older man who was in and out of prison, and they had four children together, the first born when Moore was 21.

She began to see she needed to chan

“It was a nightmare,” she said and became involved in church and Alcoholics Anonymous, but it didn’t last. Eventually, she entered an inpatient treatment program but wasn’t successful. Summit County Children Services took her children and she became homeless.

It wasn’t until her 11th try at a treatment center ” Horizon House in Ravenna” that Moore was able to overcome her alcoholism and put her life together.

“It was a great experience for me,” she said. “I was able to focus on myself. I went to a lot of meetings and got a sponsor. I did all the things suggested to have a successful recovery.”

Successful it was. After six months of sobriety, she returned to school to receive her high school diploma, becoming valedictorian of her night school class at age 30.

“That gave me the confidence to apply for college,she said. She earned an associate degree in applied science in community services, a bachelor’s in technical education and a master’s in community counseling.

She earned her degrees at The University of Akron (UA), where she is now working on a doctorate in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofits.

Moore was working at Oriana House when she came up with the idea for Freedom House in 2003. She worked with the UA legal clinic on the paperwork to begin the nonprofit. She then began working at Community Support Services, but left there in 2008 to devote her energies full time to Freedom House.

Early on, Moore began a relationship with Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) to work with women who were facing eviction due to problems with addiction. AMHA provided a house to use and grant funding, and donations helped get the place running. The house, at 1101 Seventh Ave. in South Akron, opened in 2007.

Instead of them becoming evicted, they can come here and do their services and they continue to remain in their unit, Moore said.

She provides AMHA with monthly updates on the clients, who can be in the program for six months.

Freedom House started out offering programs and services two days a week, and today, is operational four days. But even on Mondays, when Moore is in the office working on administrative affairs, clients come by when they see her car, she said.

Clients come from all over the Akron area, including the Summit Lake area and Mohawk Homes near Springfield Township, Moore said.

The services clients receive include tutoring to help them earn their General Educational Development (GED) degree, and financial literacy and computer training. They also are provided lunch and bus passes, along with counseling and 12-step programs.

This year, Moore said Freedom House has worked with 75 individuals.

“I’m really happy with that number,” she said. “It lets me know we are being effective.”

She said other organizations, including the courts and probation offices, also refer clients to her.

And women aren’t the only ones being helped. Last year, the organization assisted its first male client.

“I don’t think you should ever turn a person down,” said Moore, who knows the value of second chances. “You may be the one who can help that person transition into what they hope to be.”

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