Frederick-based nonprofit Rainbow of Love Recovery Foundation is opening a third location, an expansion into Carroll County that comes just months after opening a second house in Frederick County.
“We get a lot of referrals from the treatment centers and the outpatient facilities in Carroll County, and unfortunately most of the individuals that are referred to us want to remain there because their support systems and their jobs are there,” said Carleah Summers, founder and executive director of Rainbow of Love Recovery Foundation. “So we have been trying desperately to find a way to be able to meet their needs down that way.”
Rainbow of Love Recovery Foundation is a faith-based organization that was founded in 2019 and provides transitional living for mothers recovering from substance use disorders.
The organization has two houses in Frederick County, with the third opening in Carroll on Feb. 1. Summers said the new location should be able to house about a half-dozen mothers and their children.
In August, Summers said the organization’s immediate goal was to have a location in Carroll County by the end of the year.
“The need is tremendous in Carroll County,” Summers said last year. “We’ve been asked multiple times … 'When are we expecting to put a house there?' And we finally decided that we're in a place where we can do that.”
Being able to open the third location only about six months later is overwhelming, Summers said, but it’s also a blessing.
“It just is amazing how much we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time, and it’s just a testament to the community support and everyone that has supported us to take mothers and children off of the street and give them the help that they need,” she said.
Summers said she hopes to help mothers get back in their children’s lives, and for mothers who already have their children, the organization hopes to help them build bonds.
“And also teach them how to be mothers now that they’re sober,” she said.
Kim Kyle is a member of the Rainbow of Love board and a mother in recovery who lives in Carroll County.
“There is no recovery house … for mothers and children in Carroll County,” she said.
A place where women can work on their recovery and be mothers at the same time is definitely an asset, Kyle said, adding that she was never able to take her children with her when she was in recovery houses.
“My hope is that [the house] obviously gives women a chance to recover with their children, learn how to parent while being sober,” she said. “Being in that structured environment will be excellent for the women in Carroll County and the children to be able to be with their mothers.”
As for what’s next, Summers said they’ll go where they’re needed.
“One of the things that my board and I focus on is, 'Where is the biggest need?' And so it may not necessarily be another county, it could be another state next,” she said.