Open Gate – A Healing Place
It is with excitement and enthusiasm that we invite you to learn about Open Gate. A simplistic introduction to Open Gate might be to say that it is an intentional community of programs to assist addicts and alcoholics in achieving life-long recovery. The program would serve people in Allen County, Lima, and surrounding areas.
Open Gate is being patterned after Dawn Farm, a successful program operating in Michigan since 1973. Dawn Farm identifies and removes barriers that prevent addicts and alcoholics from joining the recovering community. Over the span of 38 years, Dawn Farm has expanded from its long-term farm facility to also include such programs as Dawn Farm Downtown, transitional housing, outpatient services, criminal justice outreaches and Dawn Farm Street Outreach. Dawn Farm is providing a last hope for people running out of options. You can go to www.dawnfarm.org to learn more about Dawn Farm programming successes and their accomplishments.
Open Gate is in the planning phase. The first step being worked on is the creation of a 'healing place', where people can live as a community, while learning coping skills, life skills and job skills needed for independent living—all the while that they focus on whatever recovery issues are present in their life. Accountability is essential in Open Gate. This means accountability to self, peers, staff and the larger community. In small but meaningful ways, the practice of accountability at all levels will have an unseen, but significant impact on the larger community. Open Gate will practice a 'culture of recovery' as a viable option to the 'culture of addiction' and all of its seductive ramifications found in the larger community.
The following quotes from Dawn Farm participants/graduates are provided to give a 'verbal picture' of what Open Gate could be:
- This is a safe place for me to be sober. The problem in staying sober is to live life on life's terms. That is what I learn here.
- I was ashamed to admit I am an alcoholic. Now I know I need to treat it as my foremost responsibility.
- I've been in multiple treatment centers. This place is different. It is a safe place. In other treatment centers I could manipulate, but here there is the group dynamic of holding each other accountable. It's about living--not just about education. I had the education before but it is the living that makes the difference.
- When I saw the sign hanging up that said, 'You are in the right place. You are with others like yourself. We understand you and the world you come from. We accept you and the person you can become. This is the place where magic (change) can happen', it was the first time I had a sense of hope.
- If I hold someone accountable, they will also do the same for me. This place is definitely not easy, but it is safe.
- I am shifting from an identity of addiction to an identity of recovery.
- If people can make progress in developing the identity of recovery, they will be better able to make healthy choices and relate to people doing the same.
- Pain may have gotten me inside the door but it is hope that is saving me.
We hope this information has raised your curiosity concerning Open Gate. Perhaps you've caught the spirit! If so, we invite you to join us as we continue in the creation of Open Gate for our community. Together we can make a difference!
Futuring Committee for Open Gate: Thomas M. Holmes, Kathy Stuckey, Sandy Monfort, Missy Raush, Norene Holmes, Heather Koontz, Jim Rudolph, Jo Jones
For further information contact:
Thomas M. Holmes at Covenant Ministry Services