Virginia Tech® home

Technical Assistance for the PEARL Program

PEARL Program


Authors as Published

Title of Project: Technical Assistance for the Peer Empowered Addiction Recovery Living (PEARL) Program at Piedmont Community Services

Principal Investigator (PI): Mary Beth Dunkenberger, Associate Director, Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG)

Co-Investigators: Lara Nagle, Community-Based Research Manager; Laura York, Research Associate, VTIPG

Key Community Partners: Monica Flora, Treatment and Recovery Coordinator, Piedmont Community Services; Carilion Clinic

Key University Partners: Mel Jones, Associate Director; Andrew McCoy, Director, Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research

Description of Project: The Peer Empowered Addiction Recovery Living (PEARL) program is a substance use treatment and recovery housing program for pregnant and postpartum women (PPW) operated by Piedmont Community Services (PCS). The 6-12-month program is designed so that PPW can stay with their children, receive case management and wrap around supports, and benefit from specialized prenatal, postpartum and SUD medical care. The Grace House is a recovery housing facility in Rocky Mount dedicated to housing clients in the PEARL program, and includes a Peer Recovery Specialist house manager, private pods for mothers and their babies and/or children, transportation assistance, nutrition and wellness classes, group therapy, and communal living spaces. The Grace House is within walking distance of several town amenities and services, such as the Franklin County Perinatal Education Center and the Franklin Center for Advanced Learning and Enterprise.

Virginia Tech has provided technical assistance and capacity building to support the renovation of the Grace House and to help to initiate the PEARL program. In particular, the VT team has prepared architectural design concepts for the Grace House property, helped to brainstorm an outreach and engagement strategy for the program, contributed grant proposal materials to fund PEARL programming and evaluation, and prepared materials to communicate the project’s goals to other community partners.

Project Materials

The PEARL Program Informational Flyer

Publication Date

June 1, 2022

Localities: City of Martinsville, Franklin and Patrick Counties

Project Period: 2020 - 2023

Funding for Technical Assistance: $27,000

Funding Source: Piedmont Community Services (State Opioid Response (SOR))