Agency History

Meta House has been helping women overcome alcohol and drug addiction since 1963.

1963

“Our Home Foundation, Inc.” was born in Milwaukee, WI to create a place where women who struggled with a dependence to alcohol could be treated instead of being sent to jail. A home was established at 2843 W. State St. with room to help seven women recover from alcoholism. The house originally belonged to Mrs. Meta Orth and quickly became known among its residents as “Meta’s House.” The organization officially adopted the “Meta House” name in 2000. Since its establishment in the early sixties, Meta House has celebrated many remarkable accomplishments.

1970

Meta House moves to two side by side homes on N. Farwell Ave. and gains space for 11 clients. Treatment begins to address a variety of substance abuse issues.

1985

Meta House adds another facility (on N. Maryland Ave.) and 9 more beds to its resources.

1988

The agency purchases the former St. Casimir’s convent on N. Bremen St. with 30 beds—the first residential treatment program in Wisconsin for women and their children.

1989

Executive Director Francine Feinberg is named by the Milwaukee Journal as one of the 90 People to Watch in the ’90s, an article highlighting leaders who would shape the decade.

1997

The agency acquires the rectory next door to Meta House’s residential treatment program facility, allowing it to accommodate up to 38 women and 22 children.

1998

Meta House begins a collaboration with Step Industries, a job-training program for people in recovery. Meta House also creates an outpatient treatment program for those women who are not in need of the structure of residential treatment.

1999

Meta Housing is born with the purchase and rehabilitation of 12 apartment units for women in early recovery and their children at 128-138 W. Locust St. This building becomes the agency’s transitional living facility, where clients focus on re-entering society as productive, responsible women.

A collaboration began with the Wisconsin Baker’s Association: Meta House women help make the world-famous creme puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair.

2000-2003

Meta Housing expands when the organization constructs three apartment buildings on N. 1st St. to provide long-term housing and supportive services to families headed by homeless women in recovery.

2003

The outpatient program capacity doubles. The agency can now accommodate up to 60 women and children in its residential program, up to 50 women in the outpatient program and can house 28 families in its transitional facilities.

2004

Meta House begins its Maternal Health Project, expanding services to pregnant, postpartum and parenting women and their children. The agency helps the State of Wisconsin win a 3-year, $22.8 million Access to Recovery grant used to double the capacity of Milwaukee County’s substance-abuse treatment voucher system. Dr. Francine Feinberg receives the Women’s and Children’s Substance Treatment Innovator Award from the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

2005

Meta House is featured in President Bush’s 2006 Federal Budget for Health and Human Services, and the President spoke about Meta House’s successful model during his March address to the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Leadership Conference.

2006

Executive Director, Dr. Francine Feinberg, is appointed to the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition Council for a 3-year term. She was also named a Champion in Women’s Health by Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, Inc.

2008

Dr. Francine Feinberg is selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a member of the National Advisory Panel.

2009

Meta House moves its outpatient clinic and administrative center to a newly-reconstructed facility adjacent to its residential buildings, forming a campus-like setting. Dr. Francine Feinberg is distinguished as a Woman of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

2010

Meta House begins a collaborative partnership with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and the Milwaukee County Children’s Court; this pilot project is intended to keep children safely with mothers who struggle with substance abuse.

2012

After 29 years,(1983-2012) Executive Director Dr. Francine Feinberg retires. Her leadership and influence in the Milwaukee community helped Meta House become the outstanding organization it has become today, helping women recover from the devastating effects of substance abuse. Amy Lindner, an attorney and Meta House Board member, begins her tenure as President and CEO on August 1, 2012.

2013

The agency celebrates 50 years of providing comprehensive substance abuse treatment services to Milwaukee families.

2015

The agency opens Shorewood House, a private-pay residential treatment program licensed to serve eight women at a time.