When residents of Edna House, a sober living home on Cleveland’s west side, received a compliment on their outfits, they would smile and say, “Thanks! It’s from the Edna Boutique,” another name for the room where clothing donations were held. Inspired by the generous donations Edna House receives from community supporters, the concept of a retail shop was born.
Like the Edna House, Edna Boutique offers second chances, “Because we all deserve a second chance to be beautiful.” And since mid-August, the shop has been officially open for business, offering a wide variety of items, including designer clothes, infant and children’s apparel, accessories and housewares. All proceeds from the shop, located at 9716 Madison Ave., are used to support Edna House programs.
More than 20 million Americans, ages 12 and older, are battling substance abuse. The opioid epidemic is a significant concern in Ohio communities. In Cleveland, the Edna House is a road to recovery for local women. Since 2004, the organization has provided a safe and sober environment for 1,000-plus women — supplying food, clothing and shelter so they can focus solely on long-term recovery.
Goals and Objectives of the Edna Boutique:
1. Provide job training to Edna House residents in retail operations, business management, computer skills and customer service.
2. Community involvement: The median household income in the Edna Boutique neighborhood is $11,681. Providing affordable clothing helps the community. In addition, residents of the Edna House are given items from the Edna Boutique to help furnish their new homes when they leave the facility.
3. Financial return: Cost of treatment at the Edna House is $300 per month, of which the residents pay $100. The rest is secured through fundraising efforts and private sector donations. All proceeds from the store will help offset the cost of treatment for those women who cannot afford it.
Recovery at the Edna House
Three stages are involved to the recovery process. After medically supervised detoxification, a woman is admitted to phase one, which consists of a three-month intensive program. She is required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, participate in volunteer opportunities and help with fundraising. If a woman hasn’t completed high school, GED classes are mandatory.
She moves to phase two when she begins to incorporate some of the recovery principles. The woman then begins job training and is required to obtain and maintain employment. This phase lasts at least three months, during which time she is required to attend six AA meetings a week.
Phase three is for women who are ready for less structure but prefer to stay involved in the Edna House community. Many of the women become mentors to others just beginning the program. After stage three, the women prepare to rebuild their lives, and the vast majority are successful in maintaining their sobriety.
The Edna House receives no federal, state or local funding. The organization depends on donations from individuals and businesses in the communities they serve. And since opening the doors of their first six-person suburban bungalow, they’ve continuously multiplied capacity yet still have a wait list of up to 20 women at any time.
Shop at or donate to the Edna Boutique.
Become a partner in sobriety. The Edna House needs volunteers to facilitate groups, work at the Edna Boutique and drive women to AA meetings. These are just a few of the ways you can support their mission to ensure that every woman, regardless of circumstances, has the support she needs to stay sober.