- December 2, 2021
The stress and uncertainty of COVID-19 has led to increased demand for mental health services and an increase in misuse of opioids across the country – and unfortunately Greater High Point hasn’t been spared. Now Kaitlyn’s House has opened to meet the demand for treatment and to help save lives.
Kaitlyn’s House, named in honor of a young woman who lost her battle with addiction, is a collaboration between Caring Services, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Social Work Field Program, and Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem (GCSTOP).
Caring Services offers care to individuals who are ready to make a commitment to their recovery from addiction. GCSTOP serves individuals who have overdosed and others who are at high risk for opioid-related mortality. UNCG and GCSTOP provide counseling and recovery services—and hope—for people struggling to get back on their feet.
Prior to the opening of Kaitlyn’s house, the UNCG programs were only operating in High Point about four hours a week. With a physical office, now the programs can support clients five days a week. Caring Services provided a building and the Foundation for a Healthy High Point invested $10,000 to help cover the start-up costs.
“It’s become a hub of service. Being able to walk in and get resources is critical for recovery. You can imagine the difference for a person seeking services to have the option of sitting down, having a cool drink, and talking to someone nonjudgmentally right away who can refer them for services,” said Becky Yates, executive director of Caring Services. “When we can get to a place when referrals are happening, that’s when healing can begin.”
At Kaitlyn’s House, individuals can stop in every day to pick up clothing, food, baby items, and toiletries; use showers and laundry facilities; and seek out substance and mental health counseling.
“The timing could not be better. We saw an exponential increase in drug overdoses and fatalities in the community during COVID-19 and had met a critical level,” said Michael Thull, director of the Bachelor of Social Work Field Education Program at UNCG. “Right off the bat, we had a quite larger demand for services at Kaitlyn’s House than we expected.”
In the first 30 days of opening in summer 2021, the program had 134 individuals come into Kaitlyn’s House for support. 25 clients were linked to treatment providers in the community and 283 doses of Narcan, a medication used to treat narcotic overdoses, were distributed.