The Flossie Lewis Center is in downtown Long Beach and is a sober living facility which offers a drug and alcohol recovery program, shelter, counseling and meals for its residents. Their clients are all women who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and some of these women have their children staying with them, too. At the time of my visit, eight women and two newborns are living in the recovery facility. More clients and children had “graduated” and were currently living in the sober residence — paying rent and on their way to independence and stability.
The heart and spirit of the Flossie Lewis center is in “The Main House”. Upon walking into it, the supervisor tells me “when you walk in here, you are going to feel the comfort…you are going to feel the warmth” and she is right. It is an actual house built at the turn of the century – charming, old, cozy, safe. We walk in by way of the kitchen. It is big and spotless. The women living at Flossie Lewis take turns in the kitchen on a rotating schedule – two women each week are responsible for menu planning, shopping and cooking three meals a day for all the residents. The women eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day. Healthy cooking is taught and promoted, and the supervisor tells me they eat as healthy as they can while trying to stay within the confines of their budget.
When asked if there was anything else Food Finders could be doing to support Flossie Lewis, the supervisor lights up and tells me that the women get very excited to get the occasional donations that we coordinate with Target. Hygiene products are necessary and cosmetic products lift the women’s spirits.
I am shown the old house’s garage which has been converted into a meeting room with its many chairs set up in a large circle. Six hours a day, the women in treatment at Flossie Lewis attend classes and meetings. I ask how long the women were allowed to live in the residential recovery program and I am told that unfortunately the typical time frame of 4-6 months was estimated to soon be cut back significantly to only 28-90 days.
On to the next agency…