Restore Recovery helping men get back on track

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent
Restore Addiction Recovery President & Trustee Dan Gregory in the dining room of the new facility on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 in Lakemore, Ohio. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

LAKEMORE For Dan and Jennifer Gregory’s, Dan and Jennifer, it is about faith, restoring lives and helping others get back on track.

As the new Restore Addiction Recovery, 2650 Sanitarium Road in Lakemore, has opened in Lakemore, the Gregory’s have seen their dreams and goals come together as they opened the doors and have welcomed 10 men into the program for addiction recovery. It is a free 12-month residential treatment program for men who want to change.

Jennifer said it is a faith-based ministry with their faith being in the God of the Bible. With a lot of prayer “we have been able to do this.”

She said it is fascinating to sit back and see how God has provided with his love for people that are in bondage to addiction.

COVID-19 has spiked addiction numbers through the roof.

“You don’t hear that because COVID-19 numbers overtake everything, but the need is now greater than when we started this four years ago,” she said.

Resources have been provided for the debt-free facility. Summit County provided the 18.5 acres of land on what was once the grounds of Edwin Shaw Hospital.

“Just providing the resources and the people it is amazing to see what has happened in the last four years when this journey began,” said Jennifer.

The Gregory's began building the 15,500-square-foot building in February 2020 and finished in December. Jennifer said they were just itching to get the doors open to get the men in the doors. The facility opened in mid-January and since that time, they have had 10 men become a part of the program with two more anticipated. The participants set the atmosphere for Restore and Jennifer said they are pleased with what is happening. The facility can house 70 men.

Restore Addiction Recovery President & Trustee Dan Gregory in a small meeting room at the new facility on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 in Lakemore, Ohio. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

Dan Gregory said it has been amazing to see it all come together. He said you can set goals but often life deals you a different set of circumstances.

“But I gotta’ tell you, we built that building debt free and we wanted to create a program that was Christ centered, clinically supportive and it has been great to see," he said.

The Gregory’s have six kids and one of them struggled with addiction in high school.

“Just like any set of parents, you want to help your kid. You instantly go into fix it mode,” said Dan. “As we saw him deteriorate, we went to our church, it is a well-resourced church doing some tremendous things in the community, but they really did not have a lot of programing in and around addiction."

He found that churches in general are not heavily involved in the addiction crisis.

Dan sat down with the pastor, Joe Coffey, and discussed the issues of addiction. Coffey said let’s do something about it, let’s run into the fire not away from it. Dan said they looked at what was most needed in the community and to discover where the gaps in the available resources were.

“We felt the biggest gap was the residential long-term care for those individuals that need a 12-month program.”

They checked with programs across the country and asked if they could design a program what would it be if they were not worried about budgets and money. That is how they developed the Restore program. The goal is to take a person from addiction-to-addiction free living. Dan explained they leave Restore with a job, a vocation, a safe place to live, a healthy support network and a reengaged and restored relationship with God, themselves, and others.

Restore Addiction Recovery facility on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 in Lakemore, Ohio. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

“The program offers a workforce development program; it is a community partnership," Dan Gregory said. "The men work for companies in the community. They are drug tested, they are driven to and from work and the company pays Restore for the men stay at Restore for free. Eventually, the men start getting pay checks.

“Imagine the men come in with nothing just a willingness to change and leave with money in the bank, a job, renewed relationships, a support network. That is the goal,” he said.

It is noted that about 50 percent of those seeking treatment don’t make it through the first month.

“That is not what we have seen at all. We have an amazingly high retention rate, the guys are engaged,” said Dan. "They are doing art projects, counseling, it is a wonderful experience and a great environment. “We had a dream and it really happened.”

Neither of the Gregory’s are paid to do the work they are doing. Dan is the chairman of the board and a trustee and said that Jennifer is a super volunteer. Restore does have a few paid staff and they have "amazing, committed volunteers." They help with food and many duties around the operation of Restore as well as physical fitness, guitar lessons and other needs. 

The Gregory’s said it is their desire to give back to the community. Restore is part of the community and if anyone knows people that are struggling with addiction that need this program, it is there for them.

“We are a Christ centered program but, as long as you come in the door with a willingness to change, you don’t have to be a Christ follower to come, we are open to everyone,” they said.

Restore is not a detox center but it can help get a person to one if needed. It is not like a hospital for emergency care. It is for men only and is designed for them to live at Restore for one year. It has intake every Monday and prefer a prescreen call before arriving.

The key is that the men have to want help. Restore is not a program for court appointed or those being forced to be there by family members.

“Typically, we have found that if a man does not want help, he is a negative contributor to the environment,” said Dan.

Restore has financial programs, counseling, activities and more.

“It is for men that want help and if they do, we really roll out the red carpet but if you don’t want help it can’t be forced.”

For more information, call 800-357-8684 or visit www.restoreaddictionrecovery.com.