HUNTINGTON — Project Hope for Women and Children, a new Marshall Health initiative to combat substance abuse in West Virginia, will open to the community this week.

A new residential treatment resource for pregnant and postpartum women suffering from substance use disorder, Project Hope can serve up to 18 families at once in individual, single-family units.

The facility, a newly renovated building at 1012 7th Ave., will provide a secure, stable living environment for mothers and their children. The site will also provide on-site individual and group therapy and life skills practice.

Jessica Tackett, a native West Virginian who earned both her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and master's degree in clinical psychology from Marshall University, has been hired to serve as director of Project Hope.

"Each resident will be assessed and assigned a personalized treatment plan," said Tackett, who will oversee Project Hope's safe living environment and recovery resources. "We will offer on-site group and individual therapy as well as life-skills coaching on topics such as budgeting and identifying future housing. Support staff will be available 24/7."

For nearly a decade, Tackett worked for the U.S. Department of Defense as an alcohol/drug control and suicide prevention officer and a regional director. During this time, she developed training for soldiers and their families in the West Virginia Army National Guard, according to the university.

Project Hope is located next to the Huntington City Mission. A ribbon cutting and open house at the facility will take place Thursday, Dec. 6. The ribbon cutting, at 1:30 p.m. in the City Mission Chapel, will be immediately followed by the open house for those interested. RSVPs are required by Tuesday, Dec. 4, to Brenda at 304-691-1152 or lucasb@marshall.edu.

The project is funded by grants from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, including a five-year, $2.62 million federal grant awarded to Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

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