The Magdalen House was founded in 1987 by a small group of women who were recovering alcoholics. These women believed there was a growing need for a free, safe place for women, who had few or no resources, to withdraw from alcohol. Inspired by the Way Out Women's Center, a detox facility free to women in Houston, the founders raised enough money for a month's rent and groceries and other expenses. A small house on Lovers Lane - with barely enough room to accommodate six women - was rented and The Magdalen House was born. The founders formed a volunteer board and a steering committee to manage the operations. In May 1987, the doors opened to the first six alcoholic women.
In 1996, The Magdalen House moved to its current location at 1302 Redwood Circle in East Dallas. Revenues, mainly from funding from the Dallas Women's Foundation, allowed The Magdalen House to buy a duplex (that needed considerable fixing up) to provide enough additional space to accommodate 12 women.
The Magdalen House is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that was incorporated in May 1987 to assist suffering alcoholic women who had no insurance, no money and no hope. It is the only facility in Dallas that offers a free non-medical detox to women. The program has 15 beds for clients, who are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis for a 14-day stay. During this time, they are introduced to the tools of recovery through exposure to a 12-step program. Several recovery groups in Dallas and the surrounding cities bring 12-step meetings and Big Book studies to The Magdalen House daily. Clients are given resources, community referrals and support for continuing a life free from alcohol upon completion of the program.
The primary mission of The Magdalen House is to provide a free, safe place where women may detox from alcohol abuse. The Magdalen House gives women the opportunity to become acquainted with a 12-step program.
326 women suffering from alcoholism were served by the Magdalen House in 2012. Women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds receive help. Over the past 25 years, more than 5000 women have passed through The Magdalen House doors.
The House has a small paid staff that includes a Director, a Day Supervisor and Night Supervisors. Many volunteers – most recovering alcoholics themselves – donate their time and funds to the House.
Funding and grants from various philanthropic organizations and donations from individuals keep our doors open.