CommQuest Deliverance House - Jade

United Way of Greater Stark County funding assists program in fulfilling 'bold' health goals. (Canton Repository. Sunday, October 9, 2016)

Jade Fishburn had spent the past six years addicted to heroin. She didn't have friends. Her family was finished with her. She had done a stint in jail. She had no place to go. Then she found CommQuest Deliverance House.

"I feel like when I walked through the doors, I just was part of a miracle," she said. Fishburn, now 41, will celebrate five years of recovery in October, after spending 15 months at the Spring Avenue NE house.

The United Way of Greater Stark County funds the CommQuest Deliverance House. The residential program offers individual and group therapy and education for women struggling with alcohol or drug addiction and also provides transitional housing for women who are searching for a permanent place to live. Women who are pregnant or have young children are welcome at the home, where the average stay is less than four months.

One of United Way's health goals is to reduce opiate substance abuse in Stark County. Data from the Stark County Coroner's office show that as of end of September, there had been at least 43 deaths this year attributable to heroin or fentanyl — compared to 46 for all of 2015. Deliverance House is one of nine mental health or substance-abuse related programs United Way is investing in, according to its website.

While Fishburn lived at Deliverance House she attended hours of group meetings. She helped clean the house. She did the reading her counselor assigned. She rebuilt her relationship with her mom. When she moved out in 2013, she found an apartment and started working for Quest Recovery and Prevention Services. Today, she has a job with another addiction recovery organization in Akron.

Her time at Deliverance House taught her how to cope with problems, handle mistakes and deal with emotions — tools she says enable her to live a regular life. Every day isn't perfect, she said, but she has found the peace and contentment she was looking for.

Fisburn still attends meetings at Deliverance House and sponsors women who live there. She said the unconditional love, structure and accountability she received at Deliverance House made the difference for her in her recovery. "I want people to know that, to me, it is, it's just like a magical place," she said.