- Associated Press - Monday, June 25, 2018

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Renovations have started on a building that will become apartments for women undergoing treatment for substance abuse in West Virginia.

Marshall University said in a news release Monday its health provider group, Marshall Health, and the Huntington City Mission have begun construction on the 15,000-square-foot building next to the mission.

Each of the 18 apartments will consist of up to three bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and kitchenette. They will enable women suffering from substance abuse to live with their children.

A grant from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is funding the program, called Project Hope for Women and Children. Marshall School of Medicine spokeswoman Sheanna Spence said the $2.8 million grant covers renovations and program expenses.

The statement says some services, including family therapy, will be provided on site while many others such as medication-assisted treatment will be in outpatient locations. The renovations are expected to be completed by October.

The project “will help residents put life skills into practice, give their children a sense of stability and teach them to raise their children in a way that promotes healthy habits early on,” said Dr. Stephen M. Petrany, chairman of the Marshall School of Medicine’s department of family and community health.

In a state of 1.8 million residents, more than 30,000 people are in drug treatment in West Virginia, which has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate.

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