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Harvest grant to help Axton rehabilitation center double capacity

LEFT TO RIGHT: Gary Robertson, director of Hope Center Ministries-Axton, Tim Decker of Nationwide Homes, John Quinlan, a volunteer at Hope Center, Bob Martin and Philip Dillon of Hope Center Ministries, Cefford Gillman of Nationwide Homes, Sheryl Agee, impact officer and team leader at Harvest, and Travis Byrd and Dawn Moser, both of Hope Center Ministries

AXTON – Hope Center Ministries is expanding its drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation program for men with help from a three-year, $225,939 grant from The Harvest Foundation.

The Hope Center-Axton campus, opened in 2017.  In October of 2017, they received a $10,000 Pick Up the Pace! grant from Harvest to make an initial expansion to serve 20 men. Following this planned expansion, the program will be able to increase its capacity to serve men in a much more comprehensive manner.

“The substance abuse crisis in our community is real and impacts local residents from all walks of life,” said Sheryl Agee, impact officer and team leader at The Harvest Foundation. “It will take a united effort to address this issue, and we feel that Hope Center Ministries has developed an innovative and realistic model that can become part of that solution to assist men on their journey to sobriety, stability and a better life.”

The Axton campus is located in the former Irisburg Elementary School on Irisburg Road. Grant funding will enable an expansion of three cabins, with one built per year, that will each house eight men in the program. Beds in the main facility will be reserved for new admissions.

“The Hope Center opened with 12 beds and a vision of helping men overcome their drug and alcohol addictions,” said Gary Robertson, director of the Axton location. “In 2017, Harvest assisted the center to increase the number of beds to 20, which allowed us to serve many more men. And now, their latest commitment will allow us to serve so many more individuals in their recovery. We are very grateful for The Harvest Foundation and its dedication to help address the addiction issues in our community.”

In addition to the program’s main elements, participants will have the unique opportunity to gain job skills and industry-recognized certifications and credentials through a partnership with Patrick Henry Community College. Potential development opportunities may include plumbing, HVAC, CDL and construction. These courses will be offered on-site at the Hope Center, or off-site at PHCC’s campus.

Over the past year, the program has served 44 men, with a 32 percent success rate, more than double the national success rate of 15 percent. The program is designed to be a comprehensive drug and alcohol rehab program. Men gain control over their substance use while also preparing them for a stable and sober assimilation back into society, according to the grant application.

This program aligns with The Harvest Foundation’s workforce goal within its strategic plan. Rehabilitation services address substance abuse as a barrier to filling local workforce needs, Agee added.

“The inability to pass a pre-employment drug screen is cited as a large barrier to filling local workforce needs,” Agee said. “Rehabilitation, coupled with an educational component, further prepares those individuals to secure and maintain employment and long-term stability.”

The Axton campus operates under the umbrella of Hope Center Ministries, located in Tennessee. There are seven facilities within the United States and one located in the United Kingdom. Their mission is to help people who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction by offering a stable environment promoting rehabilitation and hope.

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