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Mary Benson House Celebrates 20 Years!

February 25, 2015

Amy Borskey, Program Manager

Mary Benson House is a residential treatment program in Asheville for women with substance use disorders who are pregnant or are parenting children under 5 years of age.  They live at the program for one year. 

Transformation & Renewal

Last year was a big one for the Mary Benson House; lots of change and renewal.  One of our major accomplishments was giving many rooms in the historic house face-lifts with the help of Caitlin Morehouse of Morehouse Interiors who donated her time and talents to the project. The transformational renovations could not have been done without the help of many volunteers and local businesses who donated time and materials.  We are eternally grateful!

We focused on the women and children’s bedrooms and the playroom first; these were in a state of disrepair and we wanted them to have spaces that felt warm and comforting.  The walls were fixed and painted, the beautiful, original hardwood floors were restored after being hidden under worn out carpet for years, and new furniture was purchased.  We were also able to get the living and dining areas, including the kitchen, repainted and purchased new furniture for the living room.  The women and children rarely utilized this space, but now that there is beautiful furniture and artwork, the space is welcoming and gets used a lot!

Our next goal is to do renovations to the bathrooms and the upstairs rooms (offices, TV room, and group room). Caitlin continues to donate so much energy to this project and while it can’t be done overnight, we know it will get done right!

After the first round of renovations were done, we held an Open House on August 30, 2014.  Many people from the community, including volunteers and other RHA employees, attended.  It was a great way to spend time with friends of the program and show off the wonderful new spaces.  We also held a silent auction with wonderful items donated by many local businesses and artists.  We were able to raise over $600 to continue the renovations!

Once the bedrooms were renovated, we were able to start filling them with women ready to work on their recovery and needing a safe space to raise their children.  We welcomed FOUR babies within 6 months!  Needless to say there is never a dull moment around this house.  The women we have admitted this year are making great strides in their recovery.  They work very hard to meet the requirements of our program, all while raising their children and devoting time to reclaim their lives and establish independence.  They are an inspiration and we feel very lucky to do the work that we do. 

Celebrating 20 Years

This year Mary Benson House celebrates 20 years since its first resident was admitted!  This is very exciting and we are planning another fundraiser to show off the program, spend time with people from the community, and continue to raise money for future renovations.  More information will be available on our website as details are finalized. 

One of our residents who graduated last year is attending AB Tech for the Computer Information Technology program.  She has donated her time and talents to build us a website which will be launched by the end of February.  We are so excited to finally have a web presence and a site that was created by a special graduate of the Mary Benson House!  Look for it soon:  www.marybensonhouse.org.

Sandra Banks
2014 Employee of the Year

Mary Benson House is very proud to announce its first Employee of the Year in many years.  Sandra Banks (right) has been with RHA for 3 years and with the Mary Benson House for just over one year.  She shows our residents the utmost respect and kindness while providing excellent care.  She has volunteered to help out on many occasions when we were short staffed and maintains a cheerful disposition, even when the going gets tough.  On top of her daily duties she also does chart auditing and is in charge of our safety drills and documentation.  We are very lucky to have her on our team! I am very proud of all of the employees here at the Mary Benson House.  The program is fortunate to have such kind and competent women caring for its consumers. 

We were very proud to have received our CQL Accreditation this past year.  We thoroughly enjoyed the process and are excited to have an accreditation that focuses more on the person served and their goals. 

Thank you for taking the time to read about our program.  We continue to strive for excellence in the care we provide and take great honor in the work we do.  If you know any women who could benefit from our services, just give us a call to make a referral.  828-252-5280

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