One organization will soon begin providing help and assistance to women in the county who are experiencing drug addiction and are seeking help.
Ester’s Place, Inc., is a newly formed recovery home and restorative ministry for women who are experiencing hardships caused by drug addiction and homelessness. They held their first open house on Sunday, March 14 where the community was invited to see the construction progress and purchase garage sale type knickknacks.
Brevard County is limited in sober homes and drug programs strictly for women. Many co-ed programs have limited their clients to strictly male or female, narrowing the options for some in efforts to provide fewer social distractions for addicts in recovery.
“They don’t have anything for women, specifically dedicated to women,” said Deborah Chamber, president of Ester’s Place said. “We’re trying to target the women who don’t have insurance or don’t have the means to go into any other kind of program and so they’re stuck on the street doing whatever they have to do to survive.”
Mrs. Chamber’s has had a life-long dream of helping women from drug addiction and is an internationally certified addiction professional. Her work in substance and abuse counseling extends 20 years.
The goal of the open house was to raise both awareness and funds for the facility. Remodeling is needed inside the house to provide adequate conditions for the women who will live there.
The building was previously owned by the You Are Not Alone (YANA) Club, a Brevard County Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) club in Titusville. The club donated the house to Ester’s Place in July of 2020. Ester’s Place was able raise approximately $7,000 in funds to clear away the necessary debts and revitalize the former clubhouse into a livable community of recovering females.
“Since then, we raised enough money to pay off liens from back taxes and utilities and obtained clear title on the property, she said. “Through two garage sales, we have raised the money for the basics such as water, electricity, insurance and our 501c3. All in less than six months.”
When fully operational, the home will house upwards to six women at one time and focus on restoring the lives of the women through combination of faith-based activities such as weekly church attendance, life-skills coaching and healthier activities for both mental and physical health. Ester’s Place is affiliated with Rocket Town Church, located in Titusville.
“Our [service] is restoration, mind, body and spirit. We try to address the whole person and the programming would be based on the person,” she said.
The life-skills portion would focus on aspects of life that some women, who’ve been homeless or addiction for years, have not learned, balancing budgets, preparing healthy meals, basic cleanliness and job skills.
AA and Narcotics Anonymous meetings will also be incorporated into the program with meetings on-site on a weekly basis. Like its previous use, many meetings will take place within the home’s common area.
The organization is also looking to partner with the city of Titusville for grant opportunities, according to Mrs. Chambers. As the ministry grows, Mrs. Chambers wishes to see more opportunities for additions to the program added, like a General Education Diploma program.
Nurses and medical personnel have expressed interest in conducting groups with the women to give them a medical perspective on the effects of drug addiction and general hygiene awareness and education. An engineering student, Christina Velez-Stone, is also volunteering her time to help shape the future home to accommodate the six-bedroom set-up.
Many local residents and supporters toured the building during their open house Sunday. With a steady start towards reshaping the structure, Ester’s Place aims to begin remodeling and begin offering assistance to local homeless Titusville women. Mrs. Chambers noted that known women struggling in the area have already expressed interest in their services.
“So many of the ones I’ve talked to have been on the streets since they were like 12- years old,” she said.
The overall mission for Ester’s Place is to halt the destructive path drug addiction can cause women, providing them with a safer and more fulfilling alternative to addiction.
Donations to Ester’s Place can be made at an TD Bank or mailed in donation can be sent to P.O. Box 81, Titusville, Florida 32781-0081.
Ester’s Place is located at 1012 Main Street in Titusville.
For more information, call 321-298-1639.