VINTON — Field of Hope has now operated their full time residential recovery facility, the Hope House for three months.
Having opened Sept. 1, the residential rehabilitation treatment facility is fully staffed and occupied with 14 female residents. As part of their rehabilitation process, they also are operating outpatient chemical dependency counseling for both men and women, and this practice has picked up substantially since the opening of Hope House.
“The hardest part has been figuring out what works and what doesn’t,” said Amber Richards, counselor at FOH. “We have rules and regulations, and depending on how we implement those, we have found out that some ways (of implementing) that work and some that don’t.”
Field of Hope recovery is a faith based organization that, while certified by the state as a treatment facility, relies heavily on their Christian Faith to offer hope and treatment to patients.
“We’re faith based, so we wanted to give the girls grace and give them a little more freedoms. That’s been the hardest thing, trying to figure out how much freedom to give that is healthy and isn’t hurting them,” said Richards. “Giving them more than they should’ve had was actually harming them in their rehabilitation. What works without enabling them or harming them and yet not making them feel incarcerated somewhere was difficult.”
Hope House initially was operated as a halfway house, where residents could come and go with certain limitations. Finding the balance in freedom and grace for the patients when they mess up and what is best for their recovery led the organization to transition to a full time rehabilitation model.
Richards is glad for the increased time that patients are spending in recovery for the increased benefits of recovery.
“research shows that for true rehabilitation it takes at least a year to get your mind clear and your mind right. The fog really only clears your head after thirty days,” said Richards. “We’re getting most of the girls that have only been clean three to seven days. The girls were coming to the halfway house with all those freedoms and were still not making good decisions, they needed a longer stay with more structure.”
Richards also explained a concerning new regulation from the state regarding the length of time patients have in recovery facilities. The new mandate states that after 30 days, it is up to the insurance company to determine whether treatment is still necessary or not.
“I would say six to nine months is great, but a year is what I would like to see happen,” stated Richards.
CEO Kevin Dennis explained that some of the females in their facility are court ordered, while others still are voluntarily there. Some have been in the home longer and are experiencing higher levels of recovery as well. Yet, he is hesitant to call it a success.
“Our business is too young to claim any kind of success rate, so I won’t do that. But I will say that out of 14 ladies, we have only had one that has been here any amount of time that has left.”
Financially, the organization has seen an outpouring of generosity from churches and civic organizations.
“We’ve turned the corner, we’ve been in business for three months and we are in the black,” said Dennis. “First and foremost, the name of this facility from the beginning has been Field of Hope Community Campus and the community support that we’ve got has been overwhelming.”
Refraining from naming names, Dennis explained that one family donated a slightly used minivan which has been in service daily for the hope house, transporting patients to appointments.
The success of individual patients is already becoming apparent to Richards.
“While some are doing well and have their feet grounded, there are some that still don’t quite get it yet,” said Richards. “It’s hard to scale because someone could fake their way through and you think they’re doing great but they’re not.”
Richards measures success in small ways, looking to the future for the residents.
“Some of those girls, this is the longest they have been clean and stayed in one place, so for me that’s the start of a success story for them,” said Richards. “When they get out in the world, that is the true test, right now they’re in an environment that is a safe place without the outside influences.”
Dennis explained that there has been one bright spot in their work so far.
“A gal came and she didn’t have the insurance she needed to stay and the girls in the house paid for her to stay until her insurance kicked in,” said Dennis. “I thought that was a real indication of the recovering process, giving back.”
The future for the Field of Hope ministry looks bright, according to Dennis. They are currently expanding some of their maintenance facilities, continuing to train their staff, and seek to grow in their prevention efforts. They are located in the old North Gallia High School building, which has the gymnasium space which is planned to use for prevention.
“Were just hoping to plant that seed and get them on recovery with the tools they need,” said Richards.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342.
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