GREENVILLE, S.C. – A social venture entrepreneur is looking to launch a first-of-its kind recovery residence to serve Upstate residents battling drug and alcohol addictions.
Sylvia House serves as a transition for young women who followed the path of substance abuse that led to things such as lost jobs, lost opportunities and even legal problems, said Mandy Learo, the home’s founder. The goal of Sylvia House is to be a sober living and wellness program for women exiting inpatient treatment.
“Addiction does not discriminate,” Learo said. “As our county and our region battle an unprecedented opioid problem, the options for long-term support are not meeting the needs. Sylvia House aims to help fill that need.”
One of the major issues people with addictions face is that their time in rehabilitation facilities is decreasing because of healthcare costs, she said. That means people with addictions may not have the skills or the coping mechanisms for full independence when they leave inpatient treatment.
Transitional housing is a key step because it allows people in recovery to rebuild their lives in a safe environment, Learo said. However, not all transitional housing does that, which is why Learo is launching Sylvia House with a crowdfunding campaign on August 17 in order to create a unique style of transitional housing in the Upstate.
The goal of the campaign is to raise money for a home to support 10 women at a time using a holistic approach of nutritional, emotional and therapeutic support while helping residents practice daily habits that create positive outcomes, she said.
For example, many people who have suffered from addiction have trouble with everyday tasks such as eating breakfast, waking up with an alarm or folding clothes, Learo said. These sound simple, but for people who suffered addictions, the basics of self-care and practical functioning must often be relearned and practiced.
“One of the key goals is to create patterns of positive behavior so they can build for future success,” she said.
Sylvia House also will feature recreational support, group therapy and support for women looking for jobs or who want to go back to school. A physical location will be found after the crowdfunding campaign, but Learo wants it to be in Greenville because of the community’s vibrancy and growth.
Learo plans to structure the business as a social venture, which is an undertaking by a firm or organization established by a social entrepreneur that seeks to provide systemic solutions to achieve a sustainable, social objective. It is not a non-profit organization, but an organization that needs donors to succeed. The goal is to open in 2018.
The reason for choosing this route is to make the program self-sufficient once its residents are in recovery and not make it dependent on long-term government grants or funding, Learo said. And because the disease of addiction cuts across all walks of life, she believes it needs to be community supported in order to grow.
“For me, this is not about money, but about providing a service in the Greenville area that is deeply needed,” she said.
About Sylvia House:
Sylvia House is recovery residence for young women suffering from addiction. It is a social venture initiative that aims to open in 2018. It aspires to be a first-of-its-kind form of transitional housing in the Greenville area. Learn more at www.sylivahouse.com.