Life and Purpose Return To A Beloved Georgia Campus

The Fletcher Group model of recovery housing will be a key feature at “Hope Village,” a new collaborative treatment complex in Rome, Georgia utilizing the 147 acres and roughly 50 buildings that once comprised the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital.

The hospital closed in 2011 following a 2010 settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that spurred Georgia to move mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients to surrounding communities. The grounds of the hospital that once employed 700 people and served 2,000 residents have since been vacant.

Plans for the project were recently unveiled by Jeff Mauer, CEO of Global Impact International whose Restoration Rome initiative will spearhead the project. Restoration Rome is already well known in the area for bringing public, private, and faith-based partners together to benefit the local foster care community as well as those individuals and families who are underserved or at risk of state intervention.

“We see Hope Village as an extension of Restoration Rome and the work we have been doing in Floyd County for several years now,” said Mauer. “People know us for our work within the foster care community, but Hope Village will give us the resources to address—in a collaborative, holistic, and trauma-informed manner—all the complex systemic issues like behavioral health, substance abuse, homelessness, and poverty that perpetuate the foster care crisis in our community and state. So many of our citizens in Northwest Georgia face these issues without the available or accessible resources and supports necessary to bring achieve stability.”

A Transformational Opportunity

Like many communities across the country, Rome has been faced with near-crisis conditions resulting from substance abuse, mental health issues, and poverty.

“This could be transformational, not only for our community but for the whole state of Georgia,” says Mauer. “It’s those deeper challenges of poverty, mental health, and drug abuse that must be tackled if you want the lasting healing and full recovery that leads to financial independence and family stability.”

The vision for Hope Village includes residential treatment, transitional living, and outpatient services in a safe, supportive ‘city-within-a-city’ complex populated with vital resources and numerous service partners.

Under the umbrella of Hope Village, said Mauer, “Service partners will be selected based on their historical, ongoing and future commitment to the highest standards of trauma-informed service provision, innovation, and collaboration.”

When completed, Hope Village will provide education, mentoring, nutritional and physical health supports, spiritual and mental health counseling and life-skills instruction as well as vocational and on-the-job training. “All the services,” says Mauer, “needed to propel struggling individuals and families toward financial independence and stability.”

Specific target groups will include those experiencing substance abuse and behavioral  health issues, homelessness, DFCS-involved family preservation cases, birth parents of children in foster care, teens aging out of foster care, victims of human or sex-trafficking  and at-risk pregnant teens. Each of these groups will find a wealth of resources and supports at Hope Village, said Mauer.       

A Proven Model For Recovery

To ensure financial sustainability, Hope Village will adopt the highly successful revenue-generating model first developed in Kentucky under Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration. Applying the same innovative business plan as the original ‘Recovery Kentucky’ program, said Mauer, will provide the construction and operational financing for both startup and ongoing operations.

“Governor Fletcher has been an integral part of the Hope Village planning process,” said Mauer, “as we bring his highly effective model to Georgia.”

The Fletcher Group, founded in 2017 by the former Kentucky governor, is currently working to expand the company’s unique “Recovery Ecosystem” model to as many states as possible.

According to annual studies conducted by the Behavioral Health Outcome Study team at the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, the model developed by the Fletcher Group has dramatically reduced recidivism, increased employment, and helped rebuild lives at all 18 Recovery Kentucky Centers where it’s been applied.

Hope Village will take additional steps toward self-sufficiency, said Mauer, by incorporating innovative water, food, and energy production systems, as well as a waste management system, through a tech-integrated and regenerative model called “EcoHope.”

For more detailed information about Hope Village, feel free to peruse Jeff Mauer’s Hope Village PowerPoint Presentation immediately below. (Navigate using the arrows in the lower left corner of each page. Pages can be resized using the + and – buttons.)


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