HISTORY OF CHRYSALIS HOUSE
Chrysalis House, Inc. is Kentucky’s oldest and largest licensed substance abuse treatment for facility for women and their children.
In the late 1970’s, Volunteers of America expressed interest in opening a halfway house for women who were recovering from alcoholism. At the time, there were many such houses for men, but none for women.
The founding Board of Directors was comprised of members of the Junior League, a judge, a television personality, a lawyer, a minister, and community volunteers. Some of the members were recovering alcoholics. Mrs. Louise Morris was the first Board President. A funding proposal to open a residential treatment facility for women was presented to the Junior League of Lexington. The Junior League pledged $27,000 in seed money. Several local churches joined the effort and sufficient funding was secured to hire an executive director.
The first six-bed women’s treatment facility opened on the grounds of Eastern State Hospital. Six months later, the program moved into a rented house on Third Street where it remained for six years. Originally called “Linden House”, the program’s name was later changed to “Chrysalis House” .
In 1981, Chrysalis House approached the United Way of the Bluegrass for funding assistance. Although favorable toward the agency’s mission and program delivery, United Way did not like the fact that Chrysalis House did not own its facility. As a result, the Board of Directors began to search for a property to purchase and learned of a former fraternity house that was available. An extensive capital campaign was conducted to raise the funds needed to purchase the property.
In 1984, Chrysalis House, now a United Way member agency, moved into its new home at 251 East Maxwell. This facility allowed for the program’s capacity to be increased from ten to fourteen.
In 1991, Chrysalis House opened its second residential treatment facility at 120 Chrysalis Court. The 10,000 square foot structure is two houses joined together in the back by a communal kitchen. The facility has capacity for 16 women and their children.
In 1993, Chrysalis House was awarded a $1.8 million demonstration grant from the Center for Substance Treatment. The grant allowed the agency to open a supportive housing program for women and children. The Chrysalis Apartment Community was located at 381 Virginia Avenue in a three building complex consisting of twelve apartments, a licensed childcare center, and staff offices. There was no other program of its type in Kentucky.
In 2002, Chrysalis House moved the apartment community from Virginia Avenue to 1589 Hill View Place, Serenity Place Apartments. Serenity Place Apartments is a 40-unit complex comprised of two- and three-bedroom apartments. Its mission is to provide decent, affordable permanent housing with supportive services in and alcohol and drug-free setting for both recovering substance abusers and their families.
In 2003, the Chrysalis Community Center at 1589 Hill Rise Drive opened. The community center provided an ideal setting to expand childcare services to include an after-school and summer program for children of Chrysalis House clients. The Chrysalis Job Readiness Programs is also located at the Community Center as well as administrative offices.
In 2004, Chrysalis House opened its third residential treatment facility at 1588 Hill Rise Drive. This 16-bed residential treatment facility is for women and their children.
Chrysalis House continues expand services for women and their children.
In 2017, a programming and service need for infant childcare was identified through client surveys. To fill this service gap, Chrysalis House partnered with Community Action Council to provide an Early Head Start program for children ages birth – three at the Chrysalis Community Center. Community Action Council offers comprehensive full-day, full-year early childhood development services.
In 2018, Chrysalis House began a new venture by opening an outpatient office located at Serenity Place Apartment, Apt. 1104. The benefits of offering treatment in an outpatient setting includes: the ability to engage women on the waitlist in a lower level of care, if recommended and a continuity of care for those transitioning from residential treatment.
In 2018, Chrysalis House opened its fourth residential treatment facility for 16 women and their children on the Eastern State Hospital campus. The 11,000 square ft. building, will provide a safe, nurturing and aesthetically pleasing environment much like the other Chrysalis House residential programs. Chrysalis House has partnered with the University of Kentucky, College of Nursing, Beyond Birth program to provide specialized services to pregnant and parenting women. The Beyond Birth program is located in the building next to Chrysalis House on the Eastern State Hospital campus allowing for easy access to medical services that are ideal for pregnant and parenting women and children.
Today, Chrysalis House provides comprehensive treatment and support services in a long-term continuum of care, from residential to independent living for recovering women and their children. A nonprofit agency, Chrysalis House is a United Way member agency and an affiliate of Bluegrass.org.