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Partner Spotlight Interview 2/5/24: Wayside Recovery Center
Interviewee: Jodi Trost- Chief Advancement Officer at Wayside Recovery Center
Interviewer: Regan Lindholm- Eden Prairie High School Intern

What is Wayside Recovery’s Mission?

Wayside Recovery Center’s mission is to break the cycle of addiction and trauma for women, children and families. We accomplish our mission by providing a holistic array of care that is trauma-informed and culturally responsive including outpatient and residential treatment, adult and children’s mental health services, family therapy and parenting education, long-term recovery support services, and affordable supportive housing.

How and Why did Wayside Recovery Start?

Wayside is celebrating our 70th anniversary this year! In 1954, Sarah Mary “Sally” DeVay started what was then known as Wayside House. Sally was a door-to-door cosmetic saleswoman, and in her work she met many woman who were dealing with challenges such as sexual abuse, unemployment, and substance dependence. She knew these women had nowhere to turn to access the healing they deserved, and that’s when the dream of Wayside began. Wayside House served seven women in its first year and currently serves 650 women and 350 children annually.

What Specific Services and Support do you Offer to Women in Recovery?

Wayside offers a variety of solutions made to fit wherever women are in their recovery journey. For our inpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, we offer a women’s residential treatment (which can house up to 41 women) and a family residential treatment where women can bring their young children with them. The Family Treatment Center can house up to 19 women and 16 children. Wayside also offers a virtual outpatient SUD treatment program in the evenings.

Wayside also offers a variety of mental health therapy options – therapy for individuals, families, couples, children, and group therapy. Therapy services are available to anyone regardless if they are enrolled in a Wayside treatment program.

How Does the Center Assist Women in Transitioning Back Into Their Communities and Daily Lives?

Case managers and Peer Recovery Specialists ensure clients who complete treatment have access to safe and stable housing, government assistance programs, CPS navigation support, affordable medical insurance, and other wraparound supports to prevent recurrence of use. 

The supportive housing program at Wayside allows women who are transitioning from treatment (whether treatment at Wayside or elsewhere) back into their communities to have a safe and sober place to live with their children. Residents of the housing program also receive training and therapy to support their long-term recovery.

What is the Center’s Philosophy or Approach to Addiction Treatment for Women?

Wayside’s approach is trauma-informed. Women often respond differently to traumatic experiences, such as childhood abuse, neglect, sexual violence, and domestic abuse. These traumas profoundly influence their perspectives on relationships and safety, frequently leading to substance use as a coping mechanism. Additionally, chemically dependent women are more likely to experience co-occurring mental illnesses rooted in trauma, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and eating disorders.

We strive to empower women while keeping families together. We are only one of a few treatment centers in Minnesota where women who desire inpatient treatment can bring their children with them.

What are the Challenges you Face in Providing this Kind of Care?

Awareness! Addiction and recovery topics are often not talked about openly. We need to work together to remove the stigma around addiction and mental health.

The stigma associated with parenting while using substances can lead women to self-manage their chemical dependency, exacerbating their struggles with SUD. Recognizing the link between substance use and societal expectations of motherhood is vital in dismantling stigma and acknowledging the complexities women face.

Lastly, what is the Initiative for Wayside’s Future?

Wayside is committed to expand our continuum of care services in 2024. Keep an eye on our website for additional program announcements this year.