HOUSTON (KIAH)— Santa Maria, also known as Santa Maria Hostel is an organization that helps empower women and their families to lead healthy, successful, productive and self-fulfilling lives.

The organization is Texas’ largest residential and outpatient multi-site for substance use treatment center. It provides comprehensive continuum of care for pregnant women and children. Programs offered will help clients with substance use treatment, parenting skills, job readiness skills, develop employment goals, critical life skills and get resources for permanent housing.

The environment at Santa Maria’s allows women to not only get the help that they need to recover, but they’re also able to receive care while having their children in their care with the help of a supportive team. “Stigma is a huge barrier to women getting treatment for their substance use disorders while they’re pregnant. There’s alot of self-stigma, shame and there’s also alot of fear about how they’re going to be judged in their community and even fear of legal consequences,” Medical Director, Dr. Alicia Kowalchuk said. “We want to emphasize that Santa Maria is a welcoming place and a safe place to come and get sober.”

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Santa Maria team also spoke about the challenges that Latinas face with their maternal care such as not having access to translators to properly communicate their needs in a comfortable space. Dr. Kowalchuk says at Santa Maria, care is available and accessible to everyone.

Tune in this morning on CW39 Houston as reporter, Kara Willis interviews the Santa Maria team about the importance of maternal health and how they’re paving the way for women to get better care during their recovery for themselves and their children.

To learn more about Santa Maria Hostel, visit Santamariahostel.org or call 713-691-0900 for more information on how to apply for help.