BIDWELL — Field of Hope Campus welcomed visitors Monday as it held a ribbon-cutting ceremony after noon and an open house in recognition of its new Faith House.
Field of Hope CEO Kevin Dennis welcomed those gathered and said the Faith House was just another step in Field of Hope’s mission to “fight back against the darkness” of addiction.
“It’s time to turn the tide,” said Dennis. “Someone asked me this morning, how do you work with the conflict of being a faith-based organization and being supportive of government? And my answer was, there hasn’t been a conflict yet because we’ve got a strong network of folks all the way to the top that know the change from the inside out is what heals lives and changes us forever. There are a bunch of girls standing here (nodding) their head. What a blessing.”
Dennis reflected on Field of Hope’s beginnings when he referenced 25 volunteers, tied to Vinton Baptist Church across the street from the old North Gallia High School on Ohio 160, who then cleared asbestos from the old school structure to help make way for its future as a community outreach and addiction recovery center which would turn into the Field of Hope Campus.
“We want ladies who come here to never be sorry they knocked,” said Dennis.
“Right here, the Hope House,” said Field of Hope Executive Director Amber Richards, “is a residential (facility program) for women. It holds 16. Right now, we can hold 20 in sober living that’s off-campus. This (the Faith House) is going to be another sober living house…in between our Hope House and (current sober living programs), it’s going to be a little bit higher level care but down from our residential to sober living… This is 3.5 level care (Hope House) and this one will be 2.5 and 2.1 (the Faith House)…It’s a step in-between to help girls get back out there and integrate in a good way instead of sending them out too soon if they need a bit longer.”
Richards said she was proud of the campus residents and the majority of them either had a job, were working on getting a job or were in school.
“Faith-based treatment has the highest success rate of any one of them,” claimed Dennis. “The state has defined success… if you haven’t experienced recidivism, in other words you’ve not gone back into the court system once you’ve gone through the program, that’s considered a success. That’s a good hard number we can give…We’ve only been in service for two years and I’m not trying to make a wild claim here, but the fact of the matter is, in the two years the ladies who have completed our program, the success rate is over 90 percent.”
Guests from local, state and federal government wished the campus well in its continued fight against addiction. Speakers and attendees were invited to partake in a hog roast and bean dinner following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Field of Hope is an ongoing community project with roots in the Vinton Baptist Church which eventually grew into its own as a faith-based, nonprofit organization that aims to combat addiction and serve as a community outreach program. The Field of Hope campus is centered at the old North Gallia High School where ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the old school building have also been complemented by the creation of a women’s recovery facility, the Hope House, and its sister building, a less intensive recovery facility, the Faith House. The campus seeks to expand and currently has an operating counseling program.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.