At Amethyst House Graduation, 16 Women Get New Start To Life by Allie Griffin
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Sixteen women graduated as new and improved individuals and active members of society during a day of celebration Sunday, June 11.
The graduates completed a nine-month program at Amethyst House in New Brighton, a halfway house for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
The program has been helping women re-learn how to function in society for 27 years. It has recently received funds from the state to renovate the building on Richmond Terrace, allowing for 10 more beds for a total of 30 spots in the program.
With the drug epidemic on the Island, Angela DeSanno, the executive director of Amethyst House, said its recovery program has “quite the waitlist at this time.”
“Anyone who lives on Staten Island know how badly these additional beds are needed,” DeSanno said. “I receive calls weekly from parents begging for us to take their daughters due to their addiction.”
Sunday’s ceremony was standing room only, as family members of the residents packed the room, grateful to see their loved ones doing well, according to DeSanno.
The women who often come from difficult backgrounds, including domestic violence and sex trade, leave changed and grateful, many with jobs or college next on the itinerary.
“When they walk in [on their first day], many of them are just so broken. They say they feel totally worthless… When they leave, they become ladies. They’re just so much more self-confident,” DeSanno
The motto of Amethyst House is “women empowering women.” The staff are on hand 24/7 and some are even in recovery themselves, serving as an inspiration for their residents.
“They learn to love themselves and understand they’re worth it,” DeSanno said.