A Job Training Program for Recovering Addicts
Harvesting Hope is a partnership between Sustainable Berea and Liberty Place Recovery Center, Richmond KY to offer a job-skills program for women in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. The programs’ goals are, a) to increase the ability of its graduates to remain sober, b) to assist women in securing a job, and c) to develop and evaluate a model that can be adapted by other rural Appalachian communities seeking to work with substance use abusers.
From left. Tiffany, Summer, Rolina, Sheena were selected for the second pilot program for Harvesting Hope.
At the core of the program is working on the Berea Urban Farm, a 1.4 acre farm in the middle of Berea, KY. Other instruction was offered in financial literacy, interviewing and preparing resumes, entrepreneurship, engaging in the political process, organizing events, setting up farm enterprises, learning about social justice and non-profit organizations.
On August 9, 2019, 26 women were honored for graduating from the Harvesting Hope classes. Seven classes with four or three women in each class ran over 14 months. Of the 26 women in the program, two relapsed but are already back in treatment facilities.
Of the nine women who have left Liberty Place, all are sober and eight are employed.
Our goal for Harvesting Hope is two years after graduation, 70% of the graduates will be sober and employed in a home enterprise or in the workplace. We are also producing a manual to share what we have learned with others.