Despite opposition from District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan, the majority of City Council members Thursday approved a rezoning request to open a Women’s Wellness Campus in her district.

Emmanuel AME Church will be able to move forward with its sale of a portion of its property at 1600 Semlinger Road to Crosspoint Inc., a nonprofit that operates several transitional and rehabilitative facilities across the city.

Crosspoint and UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing want to use the property to build a 40-bed home for mothers and babies recovering from substance abuse — a project that already has received $3.8 million in grants.

“We have not seen any kind of economic development in the district, yet we get a transitional home? I vote in favor of my community,” Andrews-Sullivan said during the meeting.

She cited feedback from an overwhelming majority of constituents who feel their district on the city’s East Side has been neglected and in recent years has become a “dumping ground.”

After the vote, Crosspoint’s CEO Kevin Downey said he was feeling both relief and excitement that they’ll be able to move forward with the project with UT Health San Antonio and its faith-based partners.

“I don’t know how many times I’ll be able to do that,” he said referring to the City Council vote this morning that was tense at times.

Bexar County leads the state in babies born with withdrawal symptoms because of drug exposure in the womb.

Pregnant mothers who are diagnosed with substance use disorder have only two options after they give birth: either a family member takes care of the newborn while they go to a treatment center or Child Protective Services places the baby in foster care.

There are few programs, like Casa Mia, set up so that mothers can undergo counseling and drug treatment while residing with their children.

Once built, the campus on Semlinger Road will be one of three transitional facilities for women recovering from substance abuse in the United States to have an on-site nursery and primary care clinic, said Lisa Cleveland, a nursing professor at UT Health San Antonio.

Downey says his goal is to get Councilwoman Andrews-Sullivan to support the project.

During the meeting, he said up to 20 jobs will be created and volunteer opportunities will be open for residents, including a newborn cuddling program in the nursery. Meeting space will also be available for area groups.

“I love that this is happening at the Christmas season and that we can do something that really does address the needs of these moms who are broken and don’t always get the support and the love that they need. I just think this is perfect timing,” he said.