Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Chrysalis House Suffers Serious Damage

Jan 13, 2015 09:20AM ● By Cate Reynolds
Chrysalis House, a substance abuse treatment center in Crownsville, suffered serious damage from a broken water pipe on Friday, January 9. The alarm sounded at 2:00 am rousing 43 women and 14 children in residence. Tamara Kelley, Residential Coach, on duty at the time, called 911. She and other staff directed residents to safer areas of the house. In the damaged wing, ceiling tiles and insulation fell into bedrooms, meeting rooms, offices, and the kitchen, and water covered the floor. The emergency crew that arrived turned off the water and the electricity.

All were evacuated. Lorene Lake, Executive Director, and Beata Kinsey, Program Director, set up operations in the Butterfly Boutique, an undamaged building on site. They secured temporary housing at Chrysalis Healthy Start in Baltimore, Hope House in Laurel, and an Annapolis hotel. Staff and clients worked together to prepare for the move. “Many of the clients reported feeling absolutely terrified when the alarm went off, and then a new, colder kind of fear when they realized that their child was wearing only a diaper and a tee shirt and they could not go back and get anything for them. Clients also reported time and time again that because of how staff handled themselves that they were gradually able to feel safe and knew they could trust us to take care of them” explained Beata Kinsey. Staff are now working with clients in their temporary facilities.

Chrysalis House is thankful for the help and generosity of organizations and individuals who immediately stepped up to assist. The building will remain closed for an unspecified time. Full restoration work and resupplying the living and operations quarters will continue over several weeks. “I’m proud of our clients for handling this so well, and I really appreciate the professionalism of our staff. Additionally, the support from our partners and friends is ongoing. It means so much to all of us.” said Lorene Lake.

Chrysalis House is seeking donations of food (prepared, canned, and perishable), bedding and bath items, and clothing (all women’s sizes and children’s sizes newborn-10, male and female). Monetary donations would be greatly appreciated to assist with the unexpected costs associated with the damage and restoration. Donations can be made online at or by sending a check to Chrysalis House, Inc. 1570 Crownsville Road, Crownsville, MD 21032. For more information please contact Director of Development, Kristin McMahon: 443.866.4449 or