San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed today joined City leaders and community advocates to celebrate the opening of a new transitional housing program that expands treatment and recovery services for justice-involved women and their children.

The Women’s Treatment Recovery Prevention Program is an expansion of the Healthy Evolving Radiant (H.E.R.) House, a women’s gender responsive alternative sentencing transitional housing program, and is designed as an expansion due to high demand and successful outcomes. 

In total, the new facility will support 39 women and children for up to 2.5 years to address a range of unique needs, stabilize and receive wraparound care. The new abstinence-based facility is managed by Positive Directions Equals Change and Westside Community Services.  Enrollment is currently underway, with 17 women already housed and more being brought in. 

“This program will transform lives across multiple generations, helping women and their children to be together and build the foundations they need to thrive,” said Mayor London Breed. “When we invest in recovery, we can break down the barriers and we can lift people up. Addiction is complicated, but solutions like the Women’s Treatment Prevention Program will provide the support to give these women and their children the opportunity to grow stronger together.”

“The opening of the Women’s Treatment Recovery Prevention Program is a vital step forward in our commitment to support people on their path to recovery,” said Supervisor Matt Dorsey. “However, the need for more sober housing options citywide is critical. Providing safe, stable, and supportive environments is essential to help individuals overcome addiction and rebuild their lives. We must continue to prioritize and expand these crucial services to ensure that every San Franciscan has the opportunity for a healthy, substance-free future.”

The Women’s Treatment Recovery Prevention Program addresses the client’s unique needs, promotes cultural sensitivity and understanding, breaks down systemic barriers, fosters community support, offers holistic care, trauma care, reduces stigma, and empowers women and families towards lasting recovery and healing.  Once stabilized, participants have the opportunity to have their children join them in housing where there will be additional supports such as childcare and counseling services for families.

The new space offers private and semi-private rooms, all with individual bathrooms.  Additionally, on-site social services and security will foster a sense of safety as participants work towards independence.

WTRP is a partnership between Positive Directions Equals Change and Westside Community Services, the Adult Probation Department and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). Funding for the transitional housing beds is supported by Our City Our Home, providing transitional housing options with an abstinence -based philosophy to help women recover from trauma and/or addiction. 

“Providing women and mothers struggling with substance abuse and behavioral health challenges with access to comprehensive supportive services and specialized care is transformative,” said Chief Cristel Tullock, Adult Probation Department. “This program creates a community that underscores the critical need for more programs being created to advance the health and wellness of women.” 

“SFDPH is rapidly expanding our system of care to make treatment more accessible than ever and to serve more people,” said Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax. “By investing in interventions, we can provide a supportive environment and wrap-around clinical supports. Women and families who have safe and stable shelter to start their treatment are three times more likely to enter recovery. We want the public to know – there is a way out of addiction and into recovery.” 

The new program is co-managed by BIPOC led community organizations, Positive Directions Equals Change and Westside Community Services. Both have served BIPOC communities in San Francisco for decades, offering specialized support groups, comprehensive programs, mental health services, detoxification treatment services, housing, food security programming, career and educational development, and mentorship.

“What we are doing here is supporting women to build their own power,” said Cedric Akbar, Executive Director of Positive Directions Equals Change. “Empowering women to reclaim their lives from addiction is not just an act of recovery; it’s an act of resistance against the forces that reduce their potential.”

“By opening a housing and treatment program for women, we create a sanctuary of healing, hope, and second chances, where every woman can rise, rehabilitate, and rewrite her story on her own terms.” said Dr. Mary Ann Jones, CEO of Westside Community Services.

As part of Mayor Breed’s broader strategy to address the growing need to support people dealing with substance use disorder and mental health challenges, the Mayor has added programs dedicated to recovery through abstinence-based programs, including:

Minna Project: transitional housing with behavioral health services for justice-involved adults 

Salvation Army Harbor Lights: residential and withdrawal management program 

Transitional “step-down” housing with wraparound support services for people who have completed residential treatment and benefit from recovery-based housing while attending outpatient treatment

TRP Academy: a culturally responsive, peer-led, abstinence-based, reentry therapeutic teaching community (TTC) and transitional housing program 

Billie Holiday Center: a culturally responsive Reentry Navigation Center and transitional living space that is designed to provide a rapid connection to next-step resources for justice-involved adults experiencing homelessness 

San Francisco supports a range of services for those who experience mental illness and addiction– just last year, approximately 15,000 individuals with a substance use disorder accessed services within the San Francisco Health Network. The City continues to invest in specialty substance use disorder treatment, support, and prevention services.

The City also offers transitional housing and long-term housing through other departments, such as the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) and Adult Probation, which are services that are not reflected in the SFDPH budget.