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Dallas Program Helping Children Of Drug Addicted Women

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Chrystal Gomez has tried to turn her life around before.  It’s been a struggle.  But for the first time in almost a year, the 30-year-old Grand Prairie native has her two-year-old daughter back in her arms.

“I’m very happy. She’s not afraid of me anymore”, Gomez said, while watching daughter Chloe play.

Gomez lives in a one-bedroom apartment in southeast Dallas, caring for her child, as part of a drug recovery program designed specifically for mothers facing substance abuse.

The program is called Hopeful Solutions.  Creator Natalynne Walton designed the drug recovery operation to focus on the children of drug addicted women.  Walton said she used the thought that, “Every child needs their mother,” as catalyst for the program.

A former teacher with a Masters degree in Education, Walton lived a successful life.  The Dallas native once lived her dream as a member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

“My drug addiction took everything from me,” she explained.  Knowing the treachery that drug addiction brings, Walton set out to help women rebuild their lives with their children. “My mission is to make sure kids are raised in a home that shows care and security, and the only way to do that is to make moms available to their children.”

Hopeful Solutions oversees 20 apartment units in a low-income complex along the Dallas-Mesquite boundary.  The mothers have been either court-referred to the program or transferred into it after completing in-house substance abuse rehabilitation.

“We could see 100 [women] a week, but only have room for 20 a year,” Walton said.

Chrystal Gomez arrived in October.  Child Protective Services only recently cleared her for custody of her baby. “ I didn’t want to lose her forever.  I can’t be more grateful for the chance I’ve been given”, she said.

The chance Gomez and the others have includes rebuilding their lives without drugs, and re-bonding with their children who were once neglected because of drug addiction.

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