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Moms: sobriety program cleans park and lives

Heartland Family Services is at Fontenelle Park
Posted at 12:09 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 13:21:23-04

Drug and alcohol addiction.

It has not been an easy year-and-a-half for Vanessa Rodgers and Dominique Smith.

"I came into the program three months pregnant,” Rodgers says. “I was not wanting to keep him. But being in the program, they helped me decide to be a mother and it's probably one of the best decisions I've made.”

Rodgers and Smith are in a program with Heartland Family Services, which offers substance abuse treatment for expecting women and mothers.

"I started drinking at 12 years old,” Smith says. “So for 22 years, I've lived that life and it was really dark and depressing and this program gave me the tools that I need to push forward.”

Brought together by their sobriety, they are cleaning Fontenelle Park with other young mothers. The action parallels the removal of unwanted things in their life, while also improving themselves for the better.

On a hot muggy Wednesday morning, Omaha Police Northwest Precinct and Omaha's Park and Recreation are also helping.

“We decided to come right after the Fourth of July holiday,” says Captain Marcia West. “The parks have been used heavily by different groups and families having picnics.”

According to West, this is the side of news hardly seen. Most addicts find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

But today shows the journey to healing, West says.

"People go through hard things in their life and people make mistakes and we're just here to help them move on with it and to move forward.”