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Hope Recovery readies Highland House in Medina

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    Members of Hope Recovery Community, Brian Hilberg, left, and Stefanie Robinson, addressed Medina City Council on Monday about plans for opening a recovery center on Highland Drive.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — There is no firm date established for when Hope Recovery Community will open Highland House at 200 Highland Drive.

Hope Recovery CEO Stefanie Robinson and board President Brian Hilberg, a former Ward 1 Councilman, addressed City Council’s Finance Committee on Monday night at city hall with an update on the venture.

Robinson said previously the goal is to get the Medina facility off the ground and eventually branch out to Brunswick, Wadsworth and Lodi.

“We are looking forward with this partnership (with Hope Recovery) and trying to get them in (the house) as fast as we can. You are well aware there are so many moving parts,” she said.

The Medina County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board purchased the property currently inhabited by the Children’s Center of Medina County for $160,000 in December.

Hope Recovery officials said the organization would enter into a lease agreement with the ADAMH board.

The Children’s Center is completely renovating a house at 724 E. Smith Road and will eventually move its services there.

Until that’s done, Hope Recovery’s opening is on hold.

“It will serve as a recovery playground,” Robinson said. “It will be a place where people will go to connect with the community, get the support they need, the education they need and the local resources they need.

“We’ll be using those in recovery to help others in recovery. There will be family members touched by addiction helping others that have been touched by addiction.”

Phillip Titterington, executive director of the ADAMH board, said the building will become home to Hope Recovery Community, which will provide peer recovery support services and other recovery support out of the hub.

He said the drugs of choice change — recently officials said methamphetamine is now the drug of choice in Medina County over opiates — but addiction doesn’t.

“We are in an addiction crisis,” Titterington said.“These kinds of services (like Hope Recovery) are essential. You can never have too many or too many options. This is just one more option for those in the recovery community have at their fingertips.”

Robinson said 82 percent of the Hope Recovery board and 75 percent of the advisory council are made up of people either in recovery or have been touched by addiction from a family member.

She said she’s been clean for more than 10 years from drugs, alcohol and an eating disorder. When she returned to Medina, she realized there were very few treatment options.

“The whole idea of the organization is to provide wraparound services to those in addiction,” Robinson said. “People will get to learn how to live life again, to dream again, be able to contribute and be successful members of society. We are helping people with life skills, financial planning and parenting.”

Hope Recovery hosts a weekly dinner Saturday nights at Cornerstone Chapel. Serenite Restaurant, which works in conjunction with the Recovery Center of Medina County, will provide food March 30.

It will soon launch its website that will post its hours of service.

“There will be no residential (services),” Robinson said. “The only clinical services would be peer support. Our staff will be made up of peer supporters. So when people come in, they’ll be talking to someone who is trained and has that certification.

“There is no sleeping there. No in-patient services.”

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the Ohio Department of Mental Health “thinks enough of it to put funding behind it.”

In addition, Hope Recovery recently accepted a $50,000 donation from Heartland Church in Medina.

In other news

  • Council approved the real estate land swap with Medina Schools, which is buying the property at 347 N. Huntington St. and the 0.629 acres for $65,000 and swapping it with the city. The school district will get the Bowman House at 625 Bowman Lane and has agreed to demolish the house.
    The city wants to expand the parking lot of Ray Mellert Park. However, it wants to apply for a grant to pay for the expansion, which won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
    In the meantime, city officials put a provision in the motion to hold off on the demolition of the house until local historian Suzanne Sharpe can figure out what she wants to do with the house, which has historical significance. One option would be to move it to another location.
    Hanwell said he wants to give Sharpe an adequate amount of time to find a place to move the house, once occupied by Sophia Huntington Parker.
    As the sides wait on Sharpe, the city will pay for utilities.
    Sharpe asked Council to come up with a timeline.
    “My ultimate goal will remain to preserve and protect this historical structure for communitywide use and benefit,” she said. “I am committed to making this a successful project.”
    She said she has begun the process of becoming a nonprofit in the name of Building Block Preservation Group. Sharpe has enlisted the help of Michelle Powell, who has run the nonprofit Let’s Make a Difference in Ward 1 for the past 19 years,
    ”We’ll make this a win-win for all of us,” Sharpe said.
  • Construction on the parking deck next to city hall is expected to start in May, Hanwell said. It could be finished by December.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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