What: Masada House 5K run/walk
When: 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Participants should arrive by 7:30 a.m. to register and prepare for the run.
Where: Participants will meet at the Ladera Elementary School parking lot, 308 E. 35th St., Farmington. The 5K ends at Pinon Hills Community Church, 5101 N. Dustin Ave., where lunch will be held.
Cost: $25 for the race and lunch; $13 for race only; $12 for lunch only.
More info: Call 505-325-9205 to pre-register.
For more than two years, the housing program has provided transitional services for women struggling to live substance-free.
Women accepted into Masada House are participating in or have completed a substance-abuse program, and the goal is to transition them to a substance-free, productive life. With eight women currently enrolled, the house is at full capacity, and there is a waiting list for women wishing to enter the program.
Residents stay at Masada House for three to 24 months, depending on their needs. The women receive constant supervision and guidance from trained professional staff and are offered life skills coaching and employment assistance, among other services.
Transitional programs like Masada House are crucial to those wishing to break the cycle of substance abuse, as many addicts suffer relapses following treatment if they haven't learned strategies for living substance-free.
The 5K run/walk is a new fundraiser for the nonprofit, which normally holds a "Run for Masada" motorcycle event in the summer, as well as a "Music for Masada" event in the fall. Staff and supporters created the new fundraiser after seeing a need for additional funding to support their programs.
House manager Jessica Stopani explained that all proceeds from Saturday's event will go toward operating costs for the program.
"We just really need all the help we can get now, especially since we're working on getting a men's house up and running," Stopani said. "In addition to funds, we also need help with projects at the house and are always in need of hygiene items, as the women are just getting out of treatment and don't have those items. We also always need food donations."
A presentation will be held after the run at 10:30 a.m. to provide more information on Masada House and its services. A bistro sandwich and salad lunch, provided at a discount by Pinon Hills Community Church, will follow.
Masada House founder Su Hodgman said the organization is still working on plans to open a similar transitional housing program for men who are trying to break the cycle of addiction.
A house has been identified, but Hodgman and others are working on obtaining funding and permits so they can update and renovate the building once the arrangement is finalized. She's hoping to have the program up and running by next winter or early spring and is waiting to hear if grant funds the group applied for will be approved.
Hodgman says she is grateful for the positive response she has received from the public for Masada House and its plans to expand the program to include men.
"The community has just been awesome with all of their support," she said. "And all the neighbors (of Masada House and the prospective men's house) have also been very supportive. They really see there's a need, and our clients really try to be part of the community by doing outreach and education."
Hodgman said although she hopes the grant funding will come through, the work ethic and independent spirit of Masada House compels the organization to also be proactive about its own fundraising.
"We understand the necessity of doing that (fundraising) ourselves," she said.
Hodgman added that the program asks the same of its clients and expects them to take responsibility for their lives by paying rent and completing other duties.
"We don't ask a lot of them, but they realize they have to be independent, and they need these responsibilities to know that they are participating in their own lives," she said.
Leigh Irvin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4610. Follow her on Twitter @irvindailytimes.