La Frontera

 Larry Stansberry, La Frontera-SEABHS clinical coordinator, and Sherri Ourso, La Frontera team lead, invite the community to an open house Friday for Benson's new Inman House, a transitional living facility for women.

BENSON — A new transitional living quarters designed to help women in recovery will be showcased at an open house on Friday.

“We’re inviting the community to visit Inman House for women, the latest addition that La Frontera-SEABHS (SouthEastern Arizona Behavioral Health Services) is opening in Benson,” said Larry Stansbury, a La Frontera clinical coordinator. “The open house is to show the community the benefits our therapeutic day program and transitional living services provide those who are struggling with substance abuse and mental health problems.”

Behavioral health providers, community agencies and interested members of the public are invited to visit the women’s transitional home, located at 646 Union St., with the facility’s open house slated from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

Named after former SEABHS board members Bob and Ann Inman, who dedicated more than 20 years on the SEABHS board, the newly launched Inman House is located at 646 Union St., off Ocotillo Road.

“When it comes to transitioning into the real world, people with behavioral health problems often fall through the cracks because of gaps in services,” said Sherri Ourso, La Frontera team lead for two transitional homes in Benson. “Residents go from a treatment center to sober living with very little structure. These transitional homes give them ongoing support and allow them freedom while in a structured environment. They receive continued services and a safe place to live with 24-hour support as they work on a successful transition.”

Since June 2020 La Frontera has provided a similar transitional housing program for males and females at 648 Union St. That house has now shifted from its former co-ed setting to one exclusively for men, Stansbury said.

The facility houses nine men in a dormitory-style setting with three to a room.

The women’s facility, which also houses nine residents, has four rooms with two beds, as well as one room with a single bed.

“Each of the women’s rooms has its own bathroom, which is a nice feature the men don’t have,” Stansbury said.

To qualify for the transitional housing, residents must be on the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System and are required to go through a referral review for appropriateness, based on criteria.

“They must be enrolled with a mental health provider such as SEABHS or Community Partners, both examples of providers that we have in Benson,” Stansbury said.

Residents are required to participate in five hours of treatment programming daily. The sessions focus on employment readiness, emotional health, chemical dependency education, stress reduction and living skills.

“This is an evidence-based therapeutic treatment environment to facilitate a successful recovery,” Stansbury said. “We get referrals and support from treatment agencies because they understand the need for these kinds of programs in this area.”

Inman House provides up to six months of transitional housing to assist individuals while they go through the program and learn independent living skills. Residents work together on meal planning, kitchen skills and accomplish daily activities to maintain the house. Residents receive three meals a day and are allowed free time from 1 to 9 p.m., then return to the house for the night. If residents are employed with a job that goes beyond 9 p.m., adjustments are made to accommodate their work schedule.

“We have a very family-like environment here, and have seen some wonderful successful stories,” Ourso said. “Many of our residents choose to continue with the sessions even after leaving La Frontera.”

More than 50 people have been served by Benson’s program since opening the first house in June 2020.

“We opened at the height of one of the COVID surges last June,” Stansbury said. “In fact, at one time seven of our nine residents had COVID.”

As staff prepares for Friday’s open house, they’re scrambling to unpack boxes, arrange furniture and get the home ready for visitors.

“We just started moving into the building, so we still have a lot to do,” Ourso said. “Our goal is to get everything unpacked and arranged so the public can see what our transitional homes offer the residents.”

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