By Chris May
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–People who are recovering from addiction need help and support, but often that help is hard to find, especially for women. So, a Prospect Park woman started a place for them and she created it in the name of a friend who disappeared.
Barri Pepe is hosting a house party full of food and conversation. This is a long way from where she was 14 years ago, addicted to drugs.
“Before I was in recovery, I would pray, ‘God help me,'” she said.
In her mid-thirties, Barri got clean and went to college. She got a degree in social work and is now an addictions counselor.
The house was her dream. It’s Myra’s Place, a place for women recovering from addiction. On this day, she’s giving a tour of the Glenolden home to people who work in addictions and recovery.
“There was nothing like this in Delaware County at all,” Barri said.
The rent is paid by county grants, donations, and the women themselves. The women who live here are clean and transitioning from rehab to a new life.
Kimberly M has been in recovery for six months. “It’s a great place to be getting sober. You know, you learn how to balance your life and it’s a safe place to go when you come home,” Kimberly said.
Eighteen women can stay here at a time. They have chores, a curfew, and of course, they cannot use drugs.
Licensed clinical social worker Theresa Agostinelli says there’s a huge need for places like this.
“So many times these women have no resources. A lot of times I get women calling, ‘I need a place to live. I’m trying to get clean,'” she said.
Myra’s Place is named after Myra Manley, a childhood friend of Barri’s who disappeared in 1983 at the age of 19.
Barri said, “There’s no grave. There’s no body. So I always wanted a place for Myra. And that’s why this is Myra’s Place.”
To reach Myra’s Place, call 610-733-0450 or go to http://myrasplace.org/
You can email Myra’s Place at: Myrasplace333@gmail.com