Wendy Noe, Executive Director of Dove Recovery House, likes to refer to the women seeking recovery from substance abuse and addiction as “doves” – and her doves are especially vulnerable during this pandemic. Like many people, they are experiencing a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, concern and confusion. However, unlike others, they have experienced severe trauma in their lives that led them to alcohol and/or drug abuse to deal with their emotions. The fear of relapse is real for this vulnerable group of women, especially given the current environment. These doves are in danger of losing their ability to fly free of their greatest fear.

Dove Recovery House for Women is Marion County’s largest substance abuse recovery center for women. Since 2000, hundreds of women have made Dove House their home as they seek recovery from substance abuse and addiction.

“The women at Dove House are experiencing all of the emotions we are, but in the past, they’ve relied on drugs and alcohol to mask their emotions and help them get through the difficult times,” explained Wendy. “Now they are dealing with a challenging time while also trying to remain sober. They’re scared, and they’re depending on us to help them get through this crisis.

A $10,000 emergency grant from Women’s Fund allows the nimble and small Dove House to focus on the critical services, programs, and needs of the 32 women living in the house. The funds are designated to support the operating needs of the organization – and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Wendy compared the current situation at Dove House to a storm – more like a hurricane. Currently, Dove House cannot accept any women into the shelter due to mandates and health and safety concerns. Wendy is so passionate about saving the lives of all women fighting addiction, it pains her to have to turn someone away. Like all Hoosiers, the women in the house must abide by Governor Holcomb’s Shelter-in-Place order and remain in the house, which is causing extra stress, angst, and frustration among the women. At the time of the interview, Dove House was also concerned about a staff person who had been exposed to the virus, triggering further anxiety. In addition to everything related to COVID-19, she was also dealing with a broken water heater, a cracked pipe, and several other incidences at the house. “When it rains it pours,” she pointed out.

“The grant from Women’s Fund is allowing us to focus on the care of our doves right now, rather than worrying about everything else happening around us,” said Wendy. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the trust Women’s Fund has in us to do right by these women.”

The staff at Dove House are doing all they can to help the women in their care remain sober, self-sufficient, healthy, and happy. Their services and programs may look different right now, but they are committed to providing the quality care that the women deserve and that donors expect.

According to Wendy, the women at Dove House are like other women in our lives who we love. They are mothers, sisters, friends, and co-workers. They are also incredibly brave women who have overcome horrific trauma and addiction and are working on transforming their lives. Wendy finds great joy seeing the women who walked into their doors so vulnerable and broken become the strong, remarkable women they were meant to be all along, ready to fly.

If you would like to learn more about Dove House, visit doverecoveryhouse.org. Donations are most welcome and help the organization provide free programs to women in need. Wendy also encourages people to educate themselves on signs of substance abuse and the services Dove Recovery House provides. “The more people who know about us, the more people we can reach who need our services,” said Wendy. You can also follow Dove Recovery House on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.