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Girl in the Woods




Who We Are

Beneath the Shade is a transitional living space for women...

Beneath the Shade is a transitional living space for women who are choosing recovery and who want to rebuild their lives and explore what having a relationship with God might be all about. Beneath the Shade is for women who have lived with substance use disorders, have at least 30 days substance free and know they need more time in a semi-structured and loving setting in order to live successfully on their own. The average length of stay is fourteen to eighteen months, depending on a woman’s need and growth.

The ministry is located just outside Dover on 14 beautiful acres, on which sits a house and a barn. The house will be home to a total of six women, five participants and a full-time house manager and staff. The barn will be reimagined and remodeled and developed as a meeting, class and art studio space, for both program participants and for the community at large as appropriate.


Our mission is to cultivate a nurturing interim living space for women with substance use disorders, supporting the hard work of learning to love God, self, neighbor and creation.

We are committed to cultivating a transformational space which recognizes that gratitude, resilience, vulnerability, joy (laughter, silliness, play), creativity and meaningful work (both work
that is voluntary and work as a means to make a living) are essential.


Why Transitional Living?

We believe that small, intentionally personal, long-term and Christ-centered living space is needed to truly ground women in their recovery. Because of this, Beneath the Shade will be privately funded. We are seeking individuals, businesses, and churches who are willing to partner with us as we follow God’s heart towards wholeness for a group of women who need His grace and abundance so desperately.


It is vital that the length of time each woman stays with us isn’t determined by an insurance company or by what she can afford. Our average length of stay is fourteen months with the option to extend to eighteen if the individual needs that.


Many women successfully complete rehab programs only to return to toxic living environments, which makes it extremely difficult for many to stay sober. The need for additional long-term, strategic, Christ-centered and relational services, is immense.


Drug & Alcohol Addiction in Women

Depression, lack of self-worth, stress, and instability can all be major contributing factors in a woman’s desire to use drugs and alcohol. Sarah Kovach, clinical manager at Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida, says “We know that women have unique challenges when they come to treatment,” she says. “They often have to leave their families behind, and encouraging women to focus on themselves is a struggle because our culture continues to sanction such behavior as selfish.”


Stephanie Covington in A Woman’s Way Through the Twelve Steps, states, “Society judges women with addiction more severely.” For a long time, women suffering from addiction were as good as invisible. It wasn’t until the 1960s that women’s addictions even began to be openly discussed. It was illegal in the United States until the 1950s to show a woman drinking in a movie or an advertisement. This isn’t because women did not drink, it is because we didn’t want to see women drinking. According to Dr. Covington, female addicts often have histories that include three elements: substance abuse since early adolescence, developmental delays caused by damaging relationships, and multiple traumas, which often include physical and sexual abuse. Women recover in environments that facilitate healing—that are characterized by safety, connection, and empowerment.


Relational Wounding & Healing


Our most significant wounds happen in relationship with others. Many women start using substances to feel connected with addicted lovers or they drink because their boyfriends urge them to. Addicted women’s lives are full of men who to disappoint them, who don’t provide for their children, who go to jail. And these aspects only scratch the surface of how addiction and relationship are connected.


Doesn’t it make sense that our healing and restoration must also happen in relationship? But a different kind of relationship. One based on the trust, safety, compassion, empathy, and grace that enable us to reveal our true selves to one another, imperfections and all. We believe that true healing and freedom can only be found inside a relationship with our loving Creator and the community that comes along with that vital relationship.


Our name comes from Psalm 121, specifically verse 5. The Hebrew word tzel (shade) is also translated throughout Scripture as shadow. We love the image of God’s shade or shadow as protection or shelter. We take refuge under the shadow of his wings, a complete and everlasting protection.

Psalm 121 (NIV)

A song of ascents.
1  I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
2  My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
3  He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;

4  indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
5  The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6  the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
7  The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
8  the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.


Our Name

Our name comes from Psalm 121, specifically verse 5.

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