Georgia's House, the Signature Initiative
405 Ridge Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Georgia's Friends provides programs and services in the Charlottesville-Albemarle community to help women suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health challenges. Georgia's House, the signature initiative, provides hope and healing through a safe,
therapeutic and structured home for women in the early stages of recovery.
Jane Avary Barbour
February 3, 1951 - June 8, 2006
Georgia’s Friends came together in 2006 after their friend, Georgia, died in a jail cell following a long struggle with alcoholism. We believed that Georgia would be alive if she had a safe house in which to recover and heal from her disease.
We founded Georgia’s Friends, receiving non-profit 501(c)(3) status in 2010. Our vision, a healing house for women, providing them with a supportive living environment as they maintain sobriety and build a new life after treatment or incarceration. Community partners and friends formed a community council to launch Georgia’s Healing House.
Georgia’s House, the signature initiative of Georgia's Friends opened its doors in September 2015 and continues to provide a safe, structured living environment assisting women in the early stages of recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction, from the wounds of trauma and mental health challenges, that often accompany such addictions. Women need a home to heal and become healthy, self-reliant and productive members of our community. Our house is built on evidence-based models for women in recovery and is providing this.
In 2018 we were thrilled to move into our new home on Ridge Street. Then in January 2019, our Board announced that Mary Anne Grant was joining the organization as Executive Director. Mary Anne has 30 years of experience in nonprofit development and management and actively volunteers with a number of local organizations. Now, Georgia’s Friends is focused on organizational development, management, and long-term strategic planning in sustaining its mission as a community resource for recovery from addiction.
A bit about Georgia...
Jane, “Georgia” Alexander Avary Barbour, the daughter of Mary and Stephens Avary of Atlanta, GA. graduated from Randolph Macon Women’s College with degrees in Studio Art and English, she worked in the Gazit Kibbutz in Israel in the summer of 1972. Georgia traveled to Africa and served in the Peace Corps in 1973. She arrived at her assignment in Zaire after being freed from Idi Amin’s capture at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Originally from Atlanta, she acquired her nickname in the Peace Corps, where she was known by the name of her home state, Georgia.
After the Peace Corps, Georgia spent a year traveling extensively by foot, hoof and vehicle throughout West Africa, crossed the Sahara and plied the Niger River to Timbuktu in a bateau. She lived with her sister in France while she recovered from illness and then returned to the US to reside in Charlottesville.
Georgia earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of Virginia, then taught French and English in local schools. She served as curator for Africa Art at the Bayly Art Museum and worked as a docent for 26 years. She volunteered at the Salvation Army, Montpelier; local soup kitchens, and church missions to Mexico and Costa Rica. In 2000 Georgia and her husband returned to the small villages in Vietnam he knew from 1968. Some of her photographs of Vietnam are on display at the White Orchard Restaurant and also at Georgia’s House. Georgia loved creating artwork and inspired others with her photographs, batik paintings and pastels.
We are a 12-bed residence and have provided more than 12,500 bed nights to women in our community fighting addiction one day at a time.
We expect to have space available the beginning of August and we currently have a waiting list.
Please contact us if you would like an application or have questions about residency. Thank you.
Georgia’s House offers Georgia’s Teas as our signature ‘cottage industry’ to support programs and services and to help residents develop work and life skills to live successfully in society. Georgia’s Tea is a social event built on the English tradition of afternoon tea, where people come together for conversation, tea and baked delicacies and help support the organization. Residents may serve on one of the tea committees and through their participation gain functional skills for planning and time management, teamwork, social skills, culinary and marketing skills as well as self-esteem, confidence and more.
Teas typically include 20-30 people and can take place at Georgia’s House, in private homes or other locations. GH staff work with those interested in hosting or sponsoring a tea to develop the menu and design the overall focus of the event. Sponsors identify and help with outreach to guests and encourage attendees to support the work of Georgia’s Healing House. GH staff organize the event, send and track invitations and manage all logistics.
Georgia’s Teas include:
Set up with all table linens, china and flatware, flowers
Tea service to participants (variety of teas, selection of sandwiches and pastries)
GHH host for each table, includes residents, staff and volunteers
2 hours (recommend 2:00-4:00 pm or 3:00-5:00 pm)
Costs and fund-raising goals (based on 20 attendees)
Sponsor payment: $500 (to cover basic costs of food, supplies, and set up)
Goal: raise $50-100 per person
Teas may be smaller or larger depending on the interests of the host. Costs are adjusted accordingly. Teas may also serve as a community outreach event or for special occasions as designed in cooperation with the staff.
If you are interested in learning more or in hosting a tea, contact:
Living and Giving launches!
On Sunday, February 17, Georgia’s Healing House - Living and Giving Program was launched with a visit to Cedars Nursing Home. The GHH women engaged with Cedars’ residents, played bingo and helped them to have a fun social evening.
“It feels so good to help people. When I left tonight, I felt like I really had a purpose,” Andrea, GHH resident. “Tonight was so meaningful. I want to go again” Heather Elizabeth, GHH resident.
GHH residents will also be involved in other Living and Giving service projects in the Ridge
The seniors loved working with the ladies of GHH. They enjoyed their smiles and loved their pretty prizes. Margaret Thacker, Activities Director at Cedars commented that “the residents keep asking me ‘when are the ladies coming back?’”neighborhood, including engagement with Barrett Day Care and the local fire department. These activities help build strong neighborhood ties while contributing to the residents’ growth and development in the community.Street
The program provides opportunities for residents to be
The Living and Giving Service Program:group and individual volunteer activities in the neighborhood and throughout the local community.
“According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) has identified four major dimensions that support a person in recovery Health, Home, Purpose and Community and the four major dimensions that support a person in recovery. Community Service helps satisfy two of the four dimensions: Purpose and Community. Finding a purpose means engaging in activities that a person finds rewarding. Communitymeansspendingones time actively building healthy relationships with individuals. Through volunteering, those in recovery are able to gain support and find friendships through a new network of people they may have never met otherwise.” [Safety Net Recovery August 2, 2016]
The Living and Giving Program helps residents:involved in
Find a sense of purpose, structure and meaning in their life routine.
Find healthy connections and relationships in their community and
Discover potential vocational and/or workplace interests.
Residents provide monthly Living and Giving service projects in the Ridge Street neighborhood and throughout the local community.
Residents who are need a structured daily activity may be matched with a Living and Giving service site and provide individual community services.
Pre-service training and post-service reflection are held before and after a community service activity.
Residents receive recognition for their involvement in the Living and Giving program.