Headquartered in The Bowery of New York City, Project Renewal is a program dedicated to helping homeless men and women struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders. One of its signature offerings is Renewal Farm, a men’s only residential program that integrates substance abuse treatment and vocational training. Renewal Farm has undergone several changes through the years but in 2008 it found a permanent home at St. Christopher’s Inn in the rural New York hamlet of Garrison. Residents participate in group and individual therapy and 12-step programming in addition to working on a fully functioning farm for up to six months.
Accommodations and Food
Situated on two acres of farmland, the residential facility dedicated specifically to Project Renewal houses 24 men. St. Christopher’s Inn at large accommodates up to 180 men who sleep in dorm-style bedrooms with 15 to 20 clients per room. The Project Renewal residence is a large, red brick building surrounded by farmland that is heavily wooded, quiet and serene. In between working at the farm, participating in the weekly farmer’s market and partaking in the structured substance abuse programs, there are also recreational hikes and bowling nights. All the food is provided by the facility but the clients are responsible for preparing and serving the meals daily on a rotating schedule.
Treatment and Staff
The Renewal Farm program consists of steady vocational training and job placement after the client leaves the facility. Treatment includes a variety of group and individual counseling in addition to daily AA and NA meetings. Typically those who are a part of the Project Renewal team of 24 clients have daily lectures and psychoeducation classes in the beginning part of the day followed by work at the farm and farmers market. The groups focus on relapse prevention and coping skills, looking toward the graduation process and establishing a job after graduation. Ambulatory detox services are offered and can easily be integrated into every client’s schedule. Clients can expect frequent drug and alcohol screenings and the counselors aim to design an individualized treatment plan for each person. The overall treatment philosophy has a relatively large spiritual component but incoming clients are not required to adhere to any specific faith or belief system. For those with a dual diagnosis, medication management and co-occurring disorder-specific counseling can be facilitated as necessary.
The alumni program of Renewal Farm is open to all graduates and offers monthly get-togethers, speaking events and annual meetings.
Those who are admitted to the Farm Renewal program through Project Renewal experience a total life change in an environment that differs quite drastically from the conditions in which they were abusing drugs and/or alcohol. There is a sense of community and accountability that helps clients establish a renewed sense of self-esteem and self-worth which ideally leads to a productive life in recovery.
200 Varick St, Fl 9
New York, NY 10014
Renewal Farm @ St. Christopher’s Inn
21 Franciscan Way, P.O. Box 150
Garrison, NY 10524
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