Global crane manufacturer and Hagerstown residential treatment facility provide new beginnings for women recovering from substance use.
The women living in a restored bungalow in Hagerstown, Maryland, share more than a home. Each has graduated from substance abuse treatment through the local Brooke’s House program and is now taking the first steps to independence with full-time careers at Manitowoc Cranes in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, February 9, the home’s residents, joined by Brooke’s House founders Kevin and Dana Simmers and Manitowoc representatives, dedicated the property as “The Manitowoc House.” The name reflects the crane manufacturer’s commitment to providing opportunities to Brooke’s House residents, many of whom have uneven work histories, lack of skillsets, and confidence issues to successfully make the transition from addiction to recovery.
“Manitowoc believes in the mission of Brooke’s House and we recognize the challenges these women face as they re-enter the workforce. As one of the region’s leading manufacturers, we want to be part of the solution by providing them with training and jobs that offer not only a sustainable income but boundless potential,” said Dave Hull, General Manager for North America, Manitowoc Cranes.
One of those residents is Clarissa T., whose life has taken a seismic turn since coming to Brooke’s House after years of substance abuse. Now graduated from treatment and enrolled in Manitowoc’s six-week welding school, Clarissa takes immense pride in making a fresh start. “It’s fulfilling to put something together with your own hands and to be so well-accepted into this heavy-manufacturing environment by everyone at Manitowoc, being that I am a female and with my background. I want to build a career here and eventually be reunited with my two children. I want to just set up a nice life for us and give them everything that I didn’t have.”
Brooke’s House has deep personal ties to Kevin and Dana Simmers. In 2015, they lost their daughter, Brooke, to a heroin overdose after several failed efforts at in-house rehabs. The centers were often located in drug-ridden neighborhoods with a stark, hospital-like feel.
“That’s when we decided that we wanted to really fulfill her dream to have a treatment house that treated women with dignity and respect, and gives them an honest chance of recovery,” Kevin said.