MOMS LIVING CLEAN chronicles the two year journey of six moms in a women and children’s residential substance abuse treatment program as they transform their lives and re-enter the community. Their stories unfold against the myth that they are untreatable, and America’s war on drugs, which has sent record numbers of women to prison and their children into an overburdened foster care system. The film reveals the women’s childhood exposure to drugs, alcohol and domestic violence. These intimate portraits explore the challenges of addiction and recovery, economic hardship and motherhood. Through group work, writing assignments and the rehab program’s 20 concepts for living, the moms gain confidence, pride and integrity, develop parenting skills and become self-sufficient. This groundbreaking film makes the case for whole-family treatment, where mother and children stay together, as an alternative to incarceration and breaking family ties. For more information visit: http://www.momslivingclean.org
Our goals are to combat the stereotypes and stigma surrounding mothers with substance abuse issues, promote more whole-family residential treatment programs, and inspire women and men in recovery. There are less than 40 programs like this in the U.S. today. That’s not even one per state.
“I have viewed a rough-cut of MOMS LIVING CLEAN and am moved by the deeply personal and engaging stories of vulnerable mothers powerfully committed to their sobriety and to their families. The film shines the light on effective interventions for parental addiction. MOMS LIVING CLEAN will help turn the tide of stigma and punitive laws by generating community support through education and understanding about the real lives of mothers in recovery. Public opinion is critical to influencing funding of programs for family-oriented treatment, as an alternative to sentencing mothers to prison and their children to foster care.”
Malika Saada Saar, Executive Director
The Rebecca Project for Human Rights
Please help us finish MOMS LIVING CLEAN in 2008. We are currently seeking $30,000 to complete editing and prepare the film for public television broadcast. While I continue to research and apply to foundations for funding, they are limited in number and very competitive. So individuals like you can make a significant difference to keep the project moving forward. A donation in any amount will go a long way.
With a $100 donation your name will be in the credits of the film. You can make a donation right now on the film’s website at http://www.momslivingclean.org
The non-profit fiscal sponsor for MOMS LIVING CLEAN is Film Arts Foundation, San Francisco, CA. http://www.filmarts.org
Sheila Ganz, Producer/Director
Pandora’s Box Productions
1546 Great Highway, Suite 44
San Francisco, CA 94122
A few facts: Since the 1986 federal government ‘war on drugs’ mandatory sentencing, the number of women in prison has risen 400 percent and 800 percent for African American women. Most of the women and mothers incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses are suffering with substance abuse issues. The underlying reasons for addiction in 97 percent of women with substance abuse problems are untreated post-traumatic stress and/or depression precipitated by sexual and domestic violence. When a newborn tests positive for drugs they are taken away from their mother and put in foster care. Termination of parental rights has outrun actual adoptions, creating a generation of legal orphans. The children bounce from foster home to foster home, with no ties to their birthparents and no hope of adoption.
Mothers in a similar rehab treatment program attended a recent work-in-progress screening. I have a note on my computer which says, “Make them feel like they can do it.” In the written feedback from the women… four out of nine wrote that if the women in the film could do it, stay clean, then she could do it, too. The film isn’t done, yet the message is getting through!
People ask me, why am I making this film? In 1969, I was an ‘unwed mother’ and resident in a home for unwed mothers the last two months of my pregnancy where I was given no choice but to relinquish my daughter for adoption. For years I wondered, “Why can’t there be homes to help mothers keep their children?” So, after my first documentary UNLOCKING THE HEART OF ADOPTION launched on public television, I decided to find a program that does just that. Since it was completed UNLOCKING… has been distributed to adoption agencies and colleges worldwide, screened at numerous conferences around the country and changed many people’s lives. I hope that MOMS LIVING CLEAN will be even more successful. For info visit: http://www.unlockingtheheart.com
Experts now agree that the most productive way for society to deal with substance abuse is to treat it as a health issue rather than punitively. By helping the mother to stay in recovery and become self-sufficient, she will be able care for her children and end the cycle of abuse and neglect. We hope you will join us in supporting whole-family treatment programs for mothers who want a chance to make a better life for themselves and their children. Thank you!
Wishing you and yours Healthy and Happy Holidays!
PLEASE FORWARD FREELY. THANK YOU!