Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services is helping local women achieve self-sufficiency and independent living through the St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s Virginia and David Baldwin Women’s Residence.

In 2018, a licensed therapist from Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services led a pilot program to help women who are in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. The pilot program had positive results and excellent feedback from the women who participated, and the SheCan program was created. 

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay provided $18,000 in grant funds for Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services to create the SheCan program based on the pilot program’s success. Through SheCan, women living in the Free Clinic’s Women’s Residence receive 12 weeks of educational therapy to sustain abstinence from alcohol and substances.

Each week, the women meet with a Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services instructor to learn from a variety of subjects, ranging from mental health topics like self-care and compassion to substance abuse topics like how to ask for help and how to cope with triggers.

Prior to the SheCan program, the Free Clinic referred women to mental health agencies in Pinellas County for counseling. Now, the women receive educational therapy in the comfort of the Women’s Residence in a group setting with other women who have had similar experiences.

The women also attend life skills classes and participate in 12-step support groups seven days a week to help with their recovery.