MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Substance use and abuse has been on the rise during the pandemic, and often women are the last people to seek help for their addiction.

Christine Lewis and Jaime Beckman are candid about their pasts.

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“I also have a methamphetamine addiction,” Lewis said.

But, it’s their futures these Minnesota moms are focused on.

“It’s given me so much hope,” Beckman said.

They’ve completed eight months of their year-long treatments at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, where Tracy Ronning serves as director of outpatient clinical Services.

“If a woman needs to come into treatment, the first question is, ‘Well what do I do with my children?’” Ronning said.

Ronning explains how that answer will be easier at Freedom Manor, a nearly three-year, 65,000-square-foot renovation in Minneapolis. It offers all-in-one services from mental health to drug and alcohol counseling, modeled for women.

(credit: CBS)

The Children’s Dream Center will serve as a reunification setting when child protection is involved.

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“I’m just grateful that I’m still able to see my kids while I’m able to get help in transforming my life,” Lewis said.

The center will allow overnight stays for kids up to two nights a week.

“This is a space where we want moms and children to be able to play,” Ronning said.

New bedrooms, a beauty salon, gym and cafeteria will offer a path to sobriety for 78 women at a time.

“Addiction really just is something that every person faces, whether it’s personally or a loved one,” Ronning said.

She believes women often struggle in silence when it’s a village they need to fix the root of the problem, just as they’re doing for Beckman and Lewis — conquering recovery day by day.

“It’s completely changed like the course of our future,” Beckman said.

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Freedom Manor is set to open July 1. The renovation was made possible through donations to Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge.

Liz Collin