Category Archives: News

WISH Cleveland Blog — Edna Boutique!


Shop secondhand, support a second chance!





When residents of Edna House, a sober living home on Cleveland’s west side, received a compliment on their outfits, they would smile and say, “Thanks! It’s from the Edna Boutique,” another name for the room where clothing donations were held. Inspired by the generous donations Edna House receives from community supporters, the concept of a retail shop was born.

Like the Edna House, Edna Boutique offers second chances, “Because we all deserve a second chance to be beautiful.” And since mid-August, the shop has been officially open for business, offering a wide variety of items, including designer clothes, infant and children’s apparel, accessories and housewares. All proceeds from the shop, located at 9716 Madison Ave., are used to support Edna House programs.

More than 20 million Americans, ages 12 and older, are battling substance abuse. The opioid epidemic is a significant concern in Ohio communities. In Cleveland, the Edna House is a road to recovery for local women.  Since 2004, the organization has provided a safe and sober environment for 1,000-plus women — supplying food, clothing and shelter so they can focus solely on long-term recovery.

Goals and Objectives of the Edna Boutique:

1.       Provide job training to Edna House residents in retail operations, business management, computer skills and customer service.

2.      Community involvement:  The median household income in the Edna Boutique neighborhood is $11,681. Providing affordable clothing helps the community. In addition, residents of the Edna House are given items  from the Edna Boutique to help furnish their new homes when they leave the facility.

3.      Financial return:  Cost of treatment at the Edna House is $500 per month, of which the residents pay $100. The rest is secured through fundraising efforts and private sector donations.  All proceeds from the store will help offset the cost of treatment for those women who cannot afford it.

Recovery at the Edna House

Three stages are involved to the recovery process. After medically supervised detoxification, a woman is admitted to phase one, which consists of a three-month intensive program. She is required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, participate in volunteer opportunities and help with fundraising. If a woman hasn’t completed high school, GED classes are mandatory.

She moves to phase two when she begins to incorporate some of the recovery principles. The woman then begins job training and is required to obtain and maintain employment. This phase lasts at least three months, during which time she is required to attend six AA meetings a week.

Phase three is for women who are ready for less structure but prefer to stay involved in the Edna House community. Many of the women become mentors to others just beginning the program. After stage three, the women prepare to rebuild their lives, and the vast majority are successful in maintaining their sobriety.

The Edna House receives no federal, state or local funding. The organization depends on donations from individuals and businesses in the communities they serve. And since opening the doors of their first six-person suburban bungalow, they’ve continuously multiplied capacity yet still have a wait list of up to 20 women at any time.


written by Lori Pawlowski September 26, 2017

Shop at or donate to the Edna Boutique.

Become a partner in sobriety. The Edna House needs volunteers to facilitate groups, work at the Edna Boutique and drive women to AA meetings. These are just a few of the ways you can support their mission to ensure that every woman, regardless of circumstances, has the support she needs to stay sober.

Greetings from the Board

20161107_110828-1The holiday season is always a time of grateful reflection for me.  As I reflect on the last 12 years at The Edna House, I think of its humble beginnings and marvel at its growth and success.   As one of the founders, I have had a “front row” view of the generosity of this community— the donors, volunteers, and organizations that have made 12 years of saving lives possible!  The Edna House community is truly something to behold. I am honored to write this letter, addressing all the generous supporters that make The Edna House mission possible. I thank you for being a part of it, and I ask you to continue.

The Edna House started in 2004 after Nancy O’Donnell and I met a woman struggling with alcoholism who wanted to be sober, but her living situation made it nearly impossible. We tried to find a treatment center for her, but without $1,500 cash, a referral from the justice system or private insurance, she had no options.  The inspiration for The Edna House was born out of this experience. The only requirement for admission to the Edna House is the desire to get sober – regardless of a woman’s ability to pay. We do not take private insurance or government funding. Your generosity makes this opportunity possible for those who would otherwise have little, if any, options.

Our mission is simple – to give a woman a chance at a new life by providing a safe, sober place to live. She does the work, we provide the chance. This simple approach has proven extremely effective - 85% of the women who complete our program get sober and stay sober. Completion of the program is essential for continued sobriety.

We are making an impact, you are making an impact. Let’s continue. You are a part of a mission that is working.

In times of confusion, death and an opiate epidemic, we know what to do.  We know how to help. We must continue to do so.  Women, families, children, our society need us to stay the course and be there for those most in need.

At the beginning of each board meeting, we pray.  We pray for the woman, the one woman most in need.  The woman who has the desire to change, but she does not have the means.  It is no exaggeration to say her life may hang in the balance. She may be dying to get in.  Her family waits in desperation and prays for help.  They constantly fear her death. We pray for that woman.  The Edna House started with a desire to help one woman.  Thanks to you, we have helped nearly 1,000 women.  Please continue to help us make this possible.

- Erin Becker, Co-Founder and Board Chair


Alumnae Spotlight – Sarah M.

Being newly sober, all of my emotions were raw and I was extremely uncomfortable.  About a month after I had arrived at the Edna House, I went to the chapel and just cried.  I cried like I had never been able to before, and I asked God to help me.  I told Him I’d do anything – just please help me.  I was surrendering my will and my life over to the care of God.

A few days later, I realized that I wasn’t obsessing over things that were once bothering me.  I finally believed I would be ok.  I listened in group to the wonderful sober women and absorbed their wisdom they shared based on their own experiences.  Because of God, the AA Program and the Edna House, I have learned not only to live a sober life, but a good life.

I have made great strides at repairing my relationships with my family.  At one point, my addiction forced my mother to tell me , “Don’t ever call me again.”  It was a devastating blow, but it forced me to take responsibility for myself and grow up.  Today I have so much gratitude for her and for the courage it took for her to do that.  My mom and I are closer today than we have ever been.  The major difference from the past versus the present is that I see how much I took her love, compassion and help for granted.  And today we talk three times a day!

Since completing the program last February, I have stayed connected to the Edna House – facilitating groups and now sponsoring three women.  In short – I am giving back what was freely given to me.

Thank you to everyone who supports this program that has changed my life and given me back to my family!

– Sarah M., President, Edna House Alumni Association


Edna Insider – June 2016

Info in this month’s newsletter about our upcoming Beach Bash – Appreciation day for volunteers on June 18 and Recovery Race on August 21

Read the online version here:

or Download the pdf here:

Edna Insider June 2016

Good News Giving Award Recipient

Thank you to all Plain Dealer Subscribers who voted for the Edna House as your favorite charity in Cleveland.  The Edna House was named one of the top 10 charities in Northeast Ohio and will receive a cash award as well as free publicity throughout 2016 in the Plain Dealer, and the Sun Newspapers.

Serenity Shop @ Edna Boutique

The Edna Boutique carries a full line of spiritual and recovery-themed items including:

  • anniversary coins
  • jewelry
  • clothing
  • greeting cards
  • books

Customized and special orders available.  Choose from our current inventory or order from our catalog for delivery within 2 weeks. One more way to save some money while helping save lives at the Edna Boutique! Store Hours:  Monday – Thursday noon-6pm | Friday – Saturday 10am-6pm | Sunday 11am-3pm

Alumnae Spotlight

WDominicae are pleased to announce that we have our first college intern working at The Edna House for Women:  our very own alumna, Dominica Galati!  

Dominica is currently enrolled in Cleveland State University’s School of Social Work. She hopes to have a career in chemical dependency and/or the criminal justice system helping others to overcome their past and begin a brighter future.

Dominica has remained connected to The Edna House as a volunteer group facilitator and giving residents rides to meetings since she completed our program.  “That’s how I stay sober…it really is!” she says.  She also volunteers at the Rape Crisis Center and is an active member of her community in Lakewood