LO transition home has strong record of transforming lives

Come Rest Awhile has helped a lot of women over its 12 years in Lake Oswego. Now people in Lake Oswego can help Come Rest Awhile.

The treatment care home for women struggling with alcohol and drug abuse will host its Founders Day barbecue on July 20 at 12850 Fielding Road from noon to 4 p.m.

Come Rest Awhile has been a home for 300 women, ranging from teenagers to elder citizens, since it opened its doors in July of 2001, and this fundraiser is crucial to the home’s continuing success. by: REVIEW PHOTO: CLIFF NEWELL - Nancy Engeman demonstrates what women can do at Come Rest Awhile. She has helped hundreds of women over the past 12 years.

“We need to raise some money for scholarships for women who otherwise couldn’t be here,” said Nancy Engeman, CRA founder and executive director. “We’re well known throughout the treatment community, and we get calls every week. They say, ‘I think she will do well here.’”

That is often the case. Come Rest Awhile has a solid 43 percent success rate in the difficult task of helping a woman get off alcohol or drugs and return to a productive life. Sometimes one successful case leads to another.

“In our first group we had an 18-year-old girl, who is the youngest woman we ever had,” Engeman said. “She came from a family where everybody was an addict or an alcoholic. Ten years later she’s still sober and she has pulled other members of her family into recovery.”

Engeman has seen woman of every age and economic situation come into her home. Some were wealthy, some were homeless, some were jobless. One woman was the wife of a politician. One woman applied to CRA from a jail cell. One woman had her life so dramatically transformed by Come Rest Awhile that today she herself is an addiction counselor.

A woman entering CRA must bring a strong sense of commitment with her and the ability to cope with a newly strong structure in her life. There are curfews and any use of alcohol or drugs is strictly forbidden. Those doing so are asked to leave, in some cases immediately, although some women do receive second chances. Anyone can be tested at any time.

In return they can live in environment vastly different from the volatile situations that pushed them into substance abuse. At CRA, attendance at 12-step meetings are mandatory and there are many such opportunities in the Lake Oswego community. One is held on Tuesday nights right in the care home. One other nice thing is, as Engeman said, “We eat very well here.”

The 10 residents are paired off two to each room, cooking together and going to meetings together. On Sundays they can receive visits from their families.

Once an alcoholic single mother herself, Engeman has her own remarkable personal story of transformation, and she has been working to do the same for other women for three decades. Tickets to the Founders Day barbecue can be purchased online at Tickets cost $15 online for persons from age 12 on up. Tickets at the door will cost $20. The food is being provided by High Rocks Restaurant, Lounge & Catering.

Besides the barbecue dinner, there will be live music, a pie bake-off and a raffle to win a trip to a luxury hotel in Cabo San Lucas.

To volunteer for this event, contact Liza at 503-635-0102.

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