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First-of-its-kind recovery farm in Medina County changes the face of substance use disorder recovery

Posted at 1:17 PM, Jan 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 13:17:57-05

MEDINA — The Medina County Park District has partnered with Cathy’s House, a Medina-based non-profit that provides recovery housing for men with substance use disorder and Hope Recovery Community for a new recovery housing project that’s unlike any other.

The partnership will establish a first-of-its-kind recovery farm that will provide its residents with a safe and comfortable space to live and give them a direct role in helping develop the farm.

“Long-term investment and work produces “fruit” It’s very similar to recovery,” said Stefanie Robinson, executive director of Hope Recovery Community. “What we’re doing, hasn’t been working well. So we need to come up with new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.”

In May 2022, MCPD and its nonprofit partner, Friends of Medina County Parks, Inc. (FOTP), were chosen by the Brown-Trump estate and essentially gifted the property under the stipulations they come up with a proposal for its use. MCPD came up with the idea that the newest home on the property, built in 2001, would be leased to Cathy House to house men in recovery.

“The Medina County Parks District managers 8,300 acres, and we only have 34 employees,” said MCPD director Nate Eppink. “ They’re going to be managing this property. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”

In place of rent, Cathy’s House will be responsible for maintaining the house, which will immediately increase the organization’s housing program by nearly 43%. Hope Recovery Community will lead the agricultural programming on the grounds and will also develop several workforce tracts for the residents of the house and the local recovery community.

“We have a need in Medina County, we’ve always had a need in Medina County,” said Jon Robinson, executive director of Cathy’s House. “We’re continually run with a waiting list and field about 25-30 phone calls a month for bed requests there.”

Eventually, food that is produced on the property will benefit the recovery community as well as Feeding Medina County, a local non-profit combating food insecurity in Medina County.

“There’s little recovery farms that have popped up over the country,” said Stefanie. “To have 17 acres. To collaborate with the parks district. To be able to support food insecurities. It’s just a whole different approach.”

Jon and Stefanie are both in recovery themselves, and take an immense amount of pride in the project. Their shared experiences both help them connect with others in recovery and carry out the mission of their respective organizations.

“It is a gift, for our own recovery. For our community. We have kids. We just want to make Medina a better place. We have committed our lives as individuals and as a couple,” Stefanie said.

After more than a decade in recovery, the two are excited to be able to team up on this venture with the MCPD to restore the iconic property in Medina County. Eventually, they hope to have livestock including sheep, pigs and chickens housed on the property.

“We’re still in this We can walk through life together. It’s not from this ‘I’ve figured this out’ type of standpoint. It’s I’m here with you,” Jon said. “People in recovery, we deserve nice places and nice things and fun, cool stuff. I want that for the guys on our waiting list. I want that for those people who need it.”

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