HANFORD — A new transitional home for women and their children will be opening in May in Hanford. Amanda’s Home intends to provide a place for women to live as they overcome abuse, homelessness and drug or alcohol problems.
Amanda’s Home is an extension of Champions nonprofit treatment agency in Hanford. The agency provides substance and alcohol abuse programs, mental health programs and operates other homes including Hannah's Home, a residential perinatal treatment facility for women and children; Samuels Home, a male residential treatment program; and the Rylie Brennen Home, a male sober living home.
Champion Executive Director Crystal Hernandez said Albert Vanfergraff, a local farmer, recently went to the organization to talk about some property he owned and locating an expanded a Champion’s program on it.
In deciding how to expand the program, she said organizers determined that a safe and secure place for women and their children was needed.
Hernandez said Amanda’s Home is for any woman — no matter the age or circumstance — who needs a safe and secure place to be able to find resources and begin starting over. She said women will have their medical needs met and then mental health and substance abuse needs, and help with skills, financial help, permanent housing, employment and education.
“Everyone has limitations to what they can and cannot do,” Hernandez said. “This is someplace where that doesn’t exist. They can just come in, we’ll figure out what their needs are and we’ll help them link to the proper places.”
The facility is named after Amanda Mattos, who died on March 6, 2016.
Mattos' mother, Ana Nicks, described her daughter as feisty, fearless and an “absolutely beautiful girl with a big heart who got lost.” Her mother said her daughter struggled with substance abuse.
“There is a growing epidemic that is happening in a small town like Hanford, whether or not people want to realize that,” Nicks said.
Nicks said she was honored that Champions wanted to name the new program after her daughter and knows her daughter would have wanted to have a place like Amanda’s home to help women.
“This home will provide the opportunity to allow women to nurture and grow and to help others,” Nicks said.
The facility is actually two homes plus two semi-finished garages. One of the garages is planned to be either an art studio or some type of therapeutic space for women. She said there will be a garden and a place for the children to play.
Hernandez said the goal is for Amanda’s Home to be open by May 15. She said there are several work days scheduled to paint, garden and fence the facility in the upcoming months.
Hernandez said she expects about 150 women and children to cycle through the home annually.
“This is just the beginning of the change that’s coming to our community,” Nicks said.