By Michelle Hansford, Santa Maria Hostel
June 30, 2020
Santa Maria Hostel is Texas’ largest multi-site residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment center for women and one of a very few to provide a comprehensive continuum for pregnant and parenting women and their children. Full of programs and services aimed at supporting long term wellness and recovery, Santa Maria Hostel is proud to have a long-term impact on individuals and families they serve. Today, we would like to highlight their Caring For Two program, of which Michelle Hansford is the Outreach and Care Coordinator.
Caring for Two provides community based outreach and intervention services for pregnant and postpartum women in order to improve maternal and infant outcomes resulting in fewer substance exposed births. Services include: individual and group counseling, case management, prenatal needs, parent education and coaching, and recovery support services, and other physical and mental health needs.
Michelle performs much of the pre-screening engagement and follows up to work alongside the mom throughout her journey. Michelle uses her own lived experiences to guide her empathetic and honest approach. She prides herself on “being upfront with her girls.” She does her best to communicate openly and often to dispel their apprehensions.
Michelle says, “Some of the women are nervous because they’ve been hurt by organizations trying to help them before or they are worried their babies will be taken away from them. That’s why Caring for Two is special. Women can come here with their children to access services and learn how to become healthy moms.”
After years of doing this, Michelle has formed many strong relationships with participants. Post-program, they still stay in touch, and if other things arise, even years later, they feel comfortable reaching back out for support.
Maternal Opioid Use Model (MOM)
Recently, Santa Maria Hostel has joined a greater network of care to provide comprehensive services through the Maternal Opioid Use Model (MOM). Therapists, psychologists, case workers, and more work together to incorporate clinical and community-based solutions for recent or expecting mothers who may be struggling with substance use disorder (SUD).
Michelle says “Dr. Eppes from Baylor College of Medicine has put together an amazing team dedicated to creating a more cohesive system of care.” Michelle enjoys working as part of this team and is excited to see where it goes in the future.
Read more about the MOM model in our featured post.
Michelle’s final message is: “We do better because we know better. Women do not want to be in these situations. They want to know support is there and that they deserve better.”
If you know of someone who could benefit from these services, call 713.691.0900 or email Teresa Garcia at Santa Maria Hostel.