Dawn Farm Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Dawn Farm


Ann Arbor MichiganDawn Farm Review

Since 1973, Dawn Farm has offered a range of treatment options for those struggling with substance abuse. With a full continuum of care including residential services, supportive transitional housing, outpatient treatment, sub-acute detox and a range of active outreach programs, Dawn Farm utilizes evidence-based treatment methods in all recovery programs. The residential program has two locations, one of them a farm in Ypsilanti, Michigan and the other a facility in downtown Ann Arbor. Through the 12 steps, CBT, EMDR and support for co-occurring issues, clients can find a new way of life.

Accommodations and Food

Dawn Farm offers two residential locations for residents to choose from. The 64-acre working farm provides high-quality treatment in a rural environment. The property comes with pigs and chickens and even an organic garden, allowing clients to commune with the outdoors throughout recovery. Dawn Farm Downtown provides the same recovery program, but in downtown Ann Arbor—a bustling college town—rather than a farm environment. 

The farm accommodates 36 individuals while the downtown location sleeps 13. Many clients prefer the farm for it’s remote location, while those preferring an urban environment choose Ann Arbor. Dorm-style rooms in both facilities are shared between three or more. Both facilities also offer private and group therapy rooms, lecture halls, common areas, dining halls and kitchens. 

Life at Dawn Farm is kept deliberately simple. Residents can smoke, unless they are a minor, have a chronic respiratory problem or are pregnant. Phones, electronic devices, beauty products containing alcohol, makeup, flat irons or sharp instruments are not permitted. Only AA approved literature is allowed. Men must arrive clean-shaven and with conservative haircuts. Residents may only make five-minute phone calls once a week. Mail is inspected, and packages must be opened in front of a staff member if the transport of contraband is suspected.

Three meals a day are provided in both locations with a variety of healthy options available. Local produce, meat and eggs are all used in preparation whenever possible—including vegetables grown in the farm’s own gardens. Dietary requests can usually be accommodated.

Treatment and Staff

The 12 steps and evidence-based therapies are utilized in treatment, as well as some holistic practices. The programs are individualized to provide clients with one-on-one attention, support for mental health issues and trauma therapy.

A defining characteristic of Dawn Farm is their position on co-occurring disorders and medication. Treatment is centered on the belief that many addicts and alcoholics entering treatment are not necessarily suffering from a mental health disorder, but are instead experiencing a low point in their lives or feeling the discomfort of withdrawal and a major life change. With that in mind, Dawn Farm reviews all psychiatric diagnoses and medications and may ask clients to discontinue or taper some or all medications.

At Spera Recovery Center in downtown Ann Arbor, clients can come in for a sub-acute detox, during which they are monitored on a daily basis. Once stable, clients begin attending daily 12-step meetings and are introduced to the recovery community. Residents also work with a counselor to a develop a treatment plan for sustainable recovery.

Residential care is typically a two- to six-month experience with an average stay of three to three and a half months. Clients also attend weekly 12-step meetings, immersing themselves fully in the program. Both locations are similar in their structure, offering a mixture of individual and group therapy, as well as case management, education, recreation and EMDR for trauma (though these sessions come at an extra cost). Group topics include step work, relapse prevention, healthy communication, coping skills and meditation. Educational lectures inform clients on the addiction as disease model and art and work therapy are also used. Finally, vocational referrals, job training, GED help and specialized family services are all available as well.

Once residential treatment has been completed, many clients step down to outpatient care. Services include individual and group therapy as well as case management. The staff are all highly qualified, with eight out of nine clinical members having a Master’s-level degree in counseling or social work. There is also a medical director and psychiatric nurse practitioner.


Aside from primary care, transitional living is available for 140 men and women at a time. Dawn Farm also offers a free drug and alcohol education series and family support sessions, as well as complimentary groups open to all Dawn Farm clients, residents and alumni.

In Summary

Overall, Dawn Farm offers a comprehensive list of services to treat substance abuse. Both residential locations boast thorough programs with similar treatment approaches. At either facility, daily 12-step meetings are a foundation of treatment, helping clients build connections in the local community. In all, Dawn Farm is dependable option for those in the region, with two distinct recovery environments to choose from.

Dawn Farm Locations

6633 Stony Creek Rd
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

502 W Huron St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Outpatient Services
320 Miller Ave, Ste 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Dawn Farm Cost

$120-$150 (initial assessment, adult and adolescent); $130 per day (residential); $25 per session (outpatient group therapy); $25 per session (outpatient individual therapy). Reach Dawn Farm by phone at (910) 343-6980. Find Dawn Farm on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+

Do you have a complaint or review of Dawn Farm to add? Use the comments area below to add your Dawn Farm review.

Photo courtesy of AndrewHorne (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (Resized and cropped)



  1. Everything i have reqd in this comment section is accurqte. I just left that place after ten days. They make you call and get picked up by total strangers that take you out to AA meetings and other activites. These peoples are called supports and they supposed to be selfless volenteers, but in my experiance the gay community in this cult like group is very strong. These male volenteers are very eager to pick up young men and take them to meetings, breakfast, the movies, etc. Also everyone is incredably rude and brash. I Feel sorry for anyone is still in this program its a cult or atleast somthing simalar and its disgusted me to core. Im going help to get this place shut down. Ill be starting a facebook page dedicated to it.

  2. Rachael Polenz on

    Worst experience in my entire life. The staff were the most rude people I have ever met in my life. They to instructed me to do things or be kicked out. One being I must think of, in my eyes, hurtful mean things about other clients and call them out on it in groups. While I was a client there was a girl there who had overdosed and was in a coma for some time. Her memory was terrible as a result of being in the coma for a long time. They contiynuously harassed her on a daily basis about it. She would forget to shower or if she had showered, which us girls tried to help her remember. It was brought to the counselors attention and they wrote up what they called a “Behavioral Contract” there were several issues that were addressed in it. But what truly upset me and had to be just pure embarrassment and humiliation for his poor girl. Was they made her read aloud this “Behavioral Contract” in front of the entire house in a group. One line item on this contract stated that she will take better care and concern on herpersonal hygiene . Now she was not able to review this before reading it aloud as they handed it to her her in group. I could see the total absolute embarrassment in her face. Now this is a group of both males and females in it. She said right after that, “they are calling me the dirty girl”. I just can’t believe or see how this can be helpful in any way to maintain sobriety, if anything it would make me so upset I would want to leave and go right out and use and then hide do to embarrassment. I just can’t believe their tactics there. You were commended for tattle taling on people. Like humiliation and making you feel like a total piece of shit is helpful and healthy. As a woman they took your women hood from you, no makeup, no hairspray, no yoga pants, pretty much t-shirts and jeans. I’ll put it like this they want us women to look like a total bum. To me who as raised women look and act a certain way it was very hard for me. I began to get totally extremely depressed, I didn’t even want to wake up in the mornings. All this combined with the fact that as soon as you walk down the stairs in the morning you are greeted by a very hateful rude disrespectful worker who acts like a prison guard, prolly worse than a prison guard. Start your day off horrible and the rest just follows. This is a treatment center of pure hell and punishment. You have to get daily ride outs to meetings from total strangers, which you don’t know what they have in there vehicle (a gun, drugs) shoot they could be anyone. My heart rate was through the roof the entire time I was there, it went as high as 169 bpm. I wouldn’t recommend my worst enemy to this rehab, it’s a total house of horrors. I left after 40 some days to use the day I got out I was broken down and depressed. I felt humiliated and like I was even less of a person then when I went there. I truly wish this place would get shut down for unethical practice. From the bottom of my soul I hate Dawn Farms worst place I’ve ever been to. I went to Home of New Vision completed and have sober since.

    • my girl friend is in there, she was finally able to call me and tell me that they wont let her call me. now they are wanting her to do transitional housing. this was not in her court order to do only to complete a 30 day inpatient rehab. is this place really as bad as read about? im all for her getting help and bettering her life. i just don’t get why they are not letting her talk to me, ive been her biggest supporter threw this whole thing and it just seems like they want to split us up.

  3. Dawn Farm uses unethical, threatening tactics in a variety of scenarios, i.e., recant negative feedback to family or get kicked out, ask for a divorce or get kicked out, file a restraining order against a family member or get kicked out, etc. They take addicts in a vulnerable state and tell them if they don’t do such-and-such it means they aren’t serious and must want to die. Gossip is rife among staff. The atmosphere is half high school, half prison. Most importantly, treatment is ineffective. There are far too many dead ex-residents. Ask around. Don’t fall for the weird stranglehold Dawn Farm appears to hold on the recovery community in SE Michigan. There are other treatment centers and even different non-12 step programs that are available to yourself and your loved one. Cult, cult, cult. Run, run, run.

  4. I live down the street from Dawn Farm and was taking a walk with my mother. We stopped under the shade of one of their trees (which was pretty close to the street) and instantly harassed by a behemoth of a woman and it’s that we needed to leave because we were violating the privacy of the residents/patients. I find this slightly ironic because there is a sign out on the road advertising fresh eggs for sale. The sign suggests that people driving and walking by are welcome to stop by and purchase eggs. If they’re going to be nasty and chase people away for stopping under the shade for less than thirty seconds, they should probably consider remomoving the sign. Boy am I glad to have this super friendly place right down the street.

  5. Brian Savich on

    Absolute hellish experience.

    The guy in charge of the outdoor grounds completely flipped out one day got into his truck and went flying at 80 mph straight at five campers slammed on the brakes and it literally missed killing them all by inches . Great way to treat suttering addicts Who are looking to better their lives .

    Spears lost my nice bag (luggage) and gave me some worthless ghetto bag and only did not offer compensation never even apologized !
    Staff members have hidden agendas and do not come through with any of the promises that are made during intake !
    If you are sick and suffering please do not put your faith into the sick people they will take your money and leave you in a much worse place .
    They also sent the fax to my court making a situation sounds totally horrible just because they wanted more money

    They are the problem and not the solution !

    If anyone wants to contact me I will be very happy to provide them with more information and facts well as the story is backed up by other Dawn farm residents.

    • I find Brian’s comments funny considering I was actually a resident at the farm when this incident occurred. This was on a tiny dirt road attached to the farm and no car could reach 80 miles per hour on it. Everyone involved in the incident sat down and talked about it as well and everyone involved was fine.

      The Farm is only there to help, ask anyone in Ann Arbor and they will tell you this is a place of miracles. Literally thousands of people in the community have had their lives changed. One random person with an axe to grind who wasnt serious about recovery wont change this.

      • Unfathomable on

        .my son died in transitional housing under dawn farms umbrella. Manager Mike mesa asked my son to leave at 1 a.m. because he looked tired. Three weeks after living in transitional his name was still not on mailbox so our families holiday cards were returned. My son did 80 days very well at dawn farms. His sponsor said that he gave Mike mesa his phone number if my son needed Anything. After being humiliated at trans housing at dawn farms my son was asked to leave in the middle of the night! And he was tired and asked to leave. The manager Mike mesa never let anyone know that the housing that we were paying for. My son was found dead in his car at McDonalds approx 13 hours later. Not one call even to my sons phone to see if he was ok. I would never do this to a stranger..let alone someone who is asking for help and guidance. Long story short. They don’t care. Had they called one person or even called my son this would have been prevented. He was supposed to be my sons shepard. Instead he triggered my son and asked him to leave in the middle of the night. I would not trust dawn farms to watch my cat. Let alone my beautiful son that was trying hard and needed friendship. Love. And tolerance. You tell me? Why no call? Why no card? Why such negligence? Too many people turn their back on my son. He was trying hard. Big adjustment. Amazing human. Gone but never forgotten. You should have been forced to view his dead body. Maybe next time you Will make a call to his support team before the lethal drug dealers find a tired victim. Rest in peace my son. Sorry we did not know…

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