Hills House

Providing a safe home for women in recovery and their babies and young children.

Our Mission at Hills House is to provide a safe, healthy, healing, loving environment for women who are committed to recovery from the disease of addiction and mental health disorders while pregnant and/or caring for their children age birth to ten years. At Open Door Recovery Center and Hills House one of our main goals is to treat the disease with the parents while keeping them unified and/or reunified with their young children.  The Hills House residential approach is important for women because:

  • If a parent suffers from the disease of addiction, their unborn babies, newborns and children are also victims.
  • The disease often affects multiple generations leading to destructive cycles of behavior.
  • Babies need loving attention from parents for them to feel safe and give them a sense of security and confidence.

We work to include the baby’s father into the process with the condition that he is willing to receive treatment, drug screen and comply with the requirements of the program. We provide education throughout the treatment process at ODRC/Hills House that creates awareness and capacity of clients to change and improve their self-care, care of their baby/children, their environment, community and future.

The Benefits of Hills House

  • Caring staff available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Child care to allow women to participate in treatment
  • Transportation services to enable attendance in treatment
  • Case management
  • Assistance applying for housing and making the transition to independent living
  • Support with finding jobs
  • Help with education such securing a GED, or enrolling in classes at University of Maine in the Mill Mall location
  • Assistance in applying for services and benefits like WorkForce Development, MaineCare, TANF and WIC
  • Life skills classes in parenting, finances and budgeting
  • Activities such as YMCA (which provides an in-kind donation for clients who want a membership during treatment at ODRC)
  • Gardening on the two-acre property, and collaboration with DHHS in Ellsworth

Keeping Families Together

Although each case is different, it is not uncommon for there to be similarities. Usually Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) is involved and have had to remove the baby from the care of the parents. At that point the parents are given an opportunity to choose recovery and work towards reunification with their baby. Many of them have burned bridges with family, friends, and employers.  They are often homeless and desperate with little to no idea as to how to navigate the systems necessary for them to get their lives back on track. Moving into Hills House allows them to reunify at a much faster pace with DHHS knowing that the mother and infant will be in a supervised, healthy environment. We have actually had mothers and newborns transferred from the OB floor of Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) directly to Hills House with their newborn to prevent the need to separate them from the start. The length of stay is unique to each client and is determined by need and successful completion of Treatment Goals.