When you have the strength to seek help, Santa Monica House offers a safe place to recover.
At Santa Monica, despair is replaced with hope; defeat gives way to courage.
Since 1972, Santa Monica has administered a caring, comprehensive program for women who desire to confidently and successfully live without the burdens of addiction.
Santa Monica was the first halfway house in Omaha, Nebraska designed exclusively for women. With John Kenefick's (then-President of Union Pacific Railroad) $10,000 grant in 1972, Santa Monica began it groundbreaking work with only two residents.
Our name was inspired by Saint Augustine's mother, Saint Monica (332 AD-387 AD), the patron saint of alcoholics, mothers, and victims of abuse. While we are not allied with any church or sect, Saint Monica’s story continues to inform our mission. Saint Monica is said to have perhaps struggled with alcohol use, but is also well-remembered as a dedicated mother and victim of spousal abuse. Her commitment both to her own health and the well-being of her child serve as a symbolic reminder of the ways that one woman’s decision to heal can reverberate throughout her family and community. Her son, the great Doctor of the Church, credits his mother’s health and prayers for his own conversion and influence. For more on Saint Monica’s journey, click here.
Santa Monica has succeeded in its mission and continued to flourish for more than forty years thanks to overwhelming support from our community, the dedication of our therapists and staff, and the long-term vision of our volunteer board of directors. As a result of this ongoing support and dedication, we are pleased to announce that we are expanding our capacity to serve addicted women through the addition of a three-quarter way house.
Research supports the assertion that the more time (as close to a year as possible) a resident spends in therapeutic recovery settings that gradually decrease the levels of administrative oversight across time, the more successful the resident can be at achieving and maintaining long term sobriety. Santa Monica is excited to provide its women a longer-term, more gradual reentry into their respective communities, allowing them to feel confident and secure in their abilities to respond to life’s circumstances without needing alcohol or drugs to cope.
Once renovations are complete, our halfway house will be relocated to 401 South 39th Street in Omaha (the former Renaissance Mansion), and our current property at 130 North 39th Street, Omaha will be converted into a three-quarter way house. Please check back as we update our progress on each of these houses!
Santa Monica provides a holistic treatment experience that utilizes proven practices to improve women’s mental, physical and spiritual health. We utilize multiple therapeutic strategies to improve our clients’ cognitive-behavioral patterns and to address their physical and psychological traumas. We help women develop a sense of personal accountability with structured programming that focuses on practical life skills, twelve-step participation, and outside employment. Each woman is provided with knowledge and tools to prevent relapse, while our family education program helps those closest to her better understand her disease. Santa Monica’s halfway house program can last from 6 to 12 months; the length of stay for each woman is individualized based on her needs and her progress in treatment.
We hold weekly group therapy sessions that encourage both accountability and cohesiveness among the women at the house. Learning to live within a group assists women in building a foundation of support for their long-term recovery.
Our counselors also schedule weekly one-on-one therapy sessions with each woman to address her individual needs. The number of sessions is based on necessity and what is beneficial for the individual’s therapeutic process.
Each resident is responsible for a variety of household tasks such as cooking, dusting and vacuuming. Consistently completing assigned duties on time helps residents build self-esteem, and also provides foundation for practical routines that they can be carried forward following graduation for the program.
In addition to her house duties, each resident is required to obtain employment outside of the house. Maintaining employment empowers the women to gain independence from otherwise debilitating relationships and situations, and builds self-esteem. Our staff guides the women through the processes of recognizing and acquiring necessary vocational skills.
We also host speakers from local agencies who work with residents on such subjects as basic nutrition, money management, health and safety. Our meditation classes, art therapy, and spirituality groups also help the women reflect and express themselves with diverse mediums and methods.
An integral part of each woman’s treatment includes her active participation in one or more relevant twelve-step programs. Women will attend twelve-step meetings outside of the house, and are expected to work closely with their sponsor(s) while completing their steps. Regular attendance and participation in twelve-step meetings further allows women to build and maintain a network of sober contacts who will provide ongoing support as they transition to life outside of their structured sober-living facility.
Many of the women at Santa Monica have suffered emotional, verbal and physical abuse traumas, the effects of which contribute in measurable ways to their cycles of addiction.
For many years, treatment for substance abuse focused on recovery of all addicts as a homogenous group, without acknowledging the existence of gender-specific issues or any distinction between the individual needs of addicted women versus men. Dr. Stephanie Covington, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., recognized that women are statistically more likely than men to be victims of violence and other types of abuse, and that historical, “one-size fits-all” approaches to treatment were ineffective. Thus, she developed a trauma-informed approach to care that utilizes gender-responsive services and the Women’s Integrated Treatment (WIT) model.
This approach to treatment, which draws from vetted relational-cultural, addiction, and trauma theories, has helped bridge the gap from earlier, male-centric treatment models to more specialized, female-focused therapeutic and rehabilitive care regimens. Dr. Covington’s techniques help women better understand and address the ways that personal trauma impacts their cycles of addiction. For a link to one of Dr. Covington’s article concerning her groundbreaking research, click here.
Santa Monica’s women are also exposed to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, to help re-form their cognitive behavioral patterns. Dr. Linehan’s revolutionary work provides a practical set of tools that encourage mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotional regulation. DBT has proven consistently effective in reducing suicidal behavior, self-injury, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance abuse, anger and depression while improving social and interpersonal functioning. To read more about DBT as administered by the Linehan Institute, click here.
The physical and mental health of our residents is a central priority. Some Santa Monica residents have co-occurring mental and physical illness(es) that are coincidental with their alcohol and/or chemical dependencies. In these cases we work closely with other agencies in the community to provide accurate and timely medical diagnosis and treatment.
Throughout their treatment at Santa Monica, our women will come to face specific emotional obstacles and triggers that have thwarted past attempts to obtain or maintain sobriety. Understanding that substance abuse has been a symptom of their unhealthy response to these underlying issues helps each woman to better predict when they might feel compelled to drink or use drugs in the future. Relapse prevention is an integral part of our program, and our aftercare groups help graduates continue confronting these issues after leaving our care.
Santa Monica uses nationally recognized treatment methods to educate residents’ family members about substance abuse, including ways that a family can best support its loved one. Family members will learn that they had no culpability in their loved one’s drinking and/or drug abuse, even though they might have used unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with their family member’s addiction. Our family education sessions offer family members the chance to learn and use relationship rebuilding techniques.
Our Alumni Association holds monthly business meetings, and also sponsors regular social events, gatherings, and fundraisers. The alumni are proud to represent Santa Monica and to mentor new graduates. Regular participation in the Alumni Association also works against potential relapse; through the maintenance of ties with the Santa Monica community, our graduates form healthy relationships with sober women that can last throughout their lives. Information about both our House and Alumni Association events is frequently posted on our Facebook page. Click here to see more!
Santa Monica, since its inception, has mad it a high priority to provide a secure home setting where residents feel safe to focus solely on their recovery. Rather than housing women in an institutional environment, Our family-style approach to living, healing and recovery encourages our women to be good friends as well as good neighbors. We have always enjoyed close relationships with our neighbors and members of our neighborhood association, and our women actively participate in neighborhood events.
Located at 130 North 39th Street, in Omaha’s historic Gold Coast neighborhood, our current halfway house has been Santa Monica’s sole base of operation since 1972. After renovations on the new house are complete, this original property will be converted into our three-quarter way house.
130 North 39th St.
Omaha, NE 68131
Santa Monica recently purchased the historic property at 401 South 39th Street, formerly known as the Renaissance Mansion. We are currently in the process of making the renovations necessary for this property to be used as our halfway house. Please check back as we update our progress on each of the houses!
401 South 39th St.
Omaha, NE 68131
Are you, or a loved one, in need of our help? Please contact Santa Monica House using this form (below), or call
By supporting Santa Monica House, you have the opportunity to take action to support effective, proven addiction therapy that impacts our community. We can help addicts and their families recover, providing economic opportunity and stabilizing communities.
For $25 you can assist with the cost of one session with a professional therapist.
For just $50 you can contribute to a resident's transportation to and from work for an entire month.
For $100 you can sponsor the residents’ food expense from the Nebraska Food Bank for one month.
If you would like to donate another amount click here.