The Renewal Farm is a program that targets the specific needs of recovering addicts by pairing proven substance-abuse interventions with a therapeutic shift in environment. Far from the neighborhoods and people enabling drug use, the settings’ natural environment—along with its integrated drug treatment and job training, job placement, and housing assistance services— is created to inspires change.
Located at St. Christopher’s Inn on the grounds of Graymoor, the Garrison home of the Franciscan Friars of Atonement, Renewal Farm serves men who suffer from a myriad of barriers to rehabilitation and self-sufficient living. These men have spent years on the streets, cycling in and out of institutions and recovery programs, and are some of the highest-need homeless individuals in New York City. Most have little formal education or coping skills.
Renewal Farm helps these men develop skills for continued sobriety while they therapeutically connect with nature on a working produce farm. Living and working in a sober community, program participants cultivate organic greens, vegetables, and flowers while nurturing their own recoveries and healing processes. The work of operating a farm and a farmstand retail business provides marketable vocational skills to program participants, who are placed in jobs and housing when they complete the program. The Renewal Farm have almost double the success rate of similar programs noting that 60% of Renewal Farm participants left with a job and housing (the National Outcome Measure for persons discharged from substance abuse treatment with job/training is 33.5%).
Renewal Farm operates year-round, serving cohorts of twenty-four men in six-month program cycles. Upon entry, Renewal Farm participants undergo an intensive sixty-day substance abuse program run by St. Christopher’s Inn. The men receive daily exercise through farming activities and sit down to three nutritious meals a day that incorporate, as often as possible, the fruits, vegetables, and herbs they have grown with their own hands.
Source: Project Renewal