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Author: providencefarmadm17

When Nick Pappas woke up on Feb. 28, 2017, he discovered he was at Highland Park Hospital with no idea how he'd gotten there. But he did have a plan. "I told everyone that I wanted to get sober," he said. Now 22, Pappas has remained on that path. He celebrated four years of sobriety on March 2 at Providence Farm in Northbrook, an extended care home for 18- to 30-year-old men who have completed treatment for substance use disorders. He was its first resident. Providence Farm also will be celebrating its fourth anniversary after its founding on Aug. 1, 2017. Founder and director Stephanie Zwilling, a Northfield-based therapist and social worker, purchased it on May 1 of that year. Read the full article here »

“Say more about that.”  These are words frequently heard coming from Stephanie Zwilling, LCSW, spoken to ten or eleven groggy young men as morning sunlight starts filtering into a spacious living room during group therapy at the Providence Farm house in Northbrook. Each of them (ages 18-30) earned their places on the chairs and couches by completing some form of inpatient treatment for a substance abuse disorder, and have realized that their long and difficult journeys along the path to recovery have only just begun. Looking out the windows of the living room and past the spacious patio, people can see nearly two and a half acres of open lawns, complete with a pond, a barn housing goats and pigs, a chicken coup, and a vegetable garden. Read the full article here »

Dear Ms. Frum, I am writing you to express my profound appreciation for everything that Providence Farm and Stephanie Zwilling have done for my family and son. [My son] was one of the first clients to take up residence at Providence Farm last August; and their multi-disciplined, community based approached to recovery has been nothing short of amazing. I was skeptical enrolling [him] into a recovery program so close to home. However after sitting down with Stephanie and listening to her strong belief in the benefits of having [my son] in familiar surroundings, integrated with close family and relatives, it made a lot of sense - especially given that his previous away-from-home program was not successful. The last eight months for [my son] has been life changing. The "Farm's" unique mix of client specific therapy, residential peer-based support, staff mentoring, and the development of life skills, has truly been transformative for my son. Their requirement of outside work experience, academics and financial budgeting has kept him rooted in the real world and taught him responsibility and independence. What pleases me most as a parent, is to see how good [my son] feels about himself. He has a better understanding of how he is, and what he can achieve. Dealing with anxiety issues when he arrived, he's now more confident that ever. Participating in AA and weekly house meetings gave him the strength and clarity to face addiction. He remains drug and alcohol free and committed to sobriety. I cannot overstate how thankful I am, that my family "found the Farm". Their processes and methods have been pure alchemy in helping [my son] deal with his issues head-on. Their tremendous commitment, along with his hard work, and the connections of friends and family, have allowed him to slowly peel back the layers, to find purpose, contentment, and self-worth. [My son] will be graduating from the Farm in a few months and attending Lake Forest College full time in the fall. I can honestly say I'm not sure where he would be right now, without Providence Farm.

Providence Farm in Northbrook opened its doors about one year ago after a somewhat contentious approval process. Residents showed up to meetings to express concerns about the sober living home opening in a residential neighborhood. After the facility at at 1620 Sunset Ridge Road eventually won approval, community members began reaching out to offer help with everything from decorating rooms to providing steady employment to residents. The young men who live at Providence Farm say the ever-present support system, which includes community members, fellow residents and the facility’s staff, plays a key role in making their time in Northbrook personally impactful. The men living in the Northbrook house all have a job or internship, or a combination of both, and most have enrolled in college courses. They volunteer Tuesday mornings and cook dinner together Tuesday nights. They also attend individual and group therapy and participate in in-house Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Stephanie Zwilling, a licensed clinical therapist, said she founded Providence Farm because she saw a need in the North Shore for a program that helps men transition back home after completing therapeutic programming to treat addiction. Many of those programs are located out of state. Read the full article originally posted on the Chicago Tribune

Dear President Frum, This correspondence is regarding our family’s experience at Providence Farm, 1620 Sunset Ridge Road. [Our son] is a current Providence Farm resident. He was set to attend college last fall but unfortunately fell on hard times. Over the past year and half he has unfortunately been in and out of treatment for dual diagnosis for depression and substance abuse and has been unable to find the right fit for treatment that would make a true difference in his recovery. Many facilities are very institutional by design and seem to miss the nurturing environment so many young adult men need outside of one’s home environment, especially coming out of an initial treatment facility. We are grateful for having found Providence Farms under the direction of Stephanie Zwilling and her staff, which provides a unique therapeutic setting by creating a nurturing environment, a sense of independence, structure through accountability, and specialized therapy specific to each client’s needs. The Farm requires these young men to attend school and/or work, volunteer for community service, learn how to live a productive life, and participate socially without the need for drugs and alcohol. In the short time [our son] has been at the Farm, we have already experienced significant development in his overall recovery through self-understanding, development of life coping skills and most importantly a hope and belief that there is a life to live beyond drugs and alcohol. Just a few short months ago our Family was emotionally preparing for the worst that we would lose our son. But today, with the help of Providence Farm, our family and more importantly [our son] has hope that he can live a productive sober life. We acknowledge he, like many others, will have a life of recovery, but his chance for success will significantly increase through the therapy and skills he develops at Providence Farm. The partnership between Providence Farm, the Village of Northbrook and the overall community has filled a treatment gap that should be modeled throughout all communities to meet to growing demand of mental illness and substance abuse. On behalf of our family, we are thankful the Village has allowed Providence Farm to exist, especially within a residential neighborhood, which may seem insignificant to some, but makes a world of difference to the psyche of those living there by giving them a sense that they are part of community. We are confident Providence Farm will make a positive difference in our son’s life to be a productive citizen and hopefully for many other young adults in search of help within and around the Northbrook community.

Dear Ms. Frum, Our son has been a resident at Providence Farms since February 2018. Prior to this he was in his junior year on an academic scholarship to the Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana. Providence Farms provides a spacious and relatively secluded location which enables a nurturing and safe environment. The on-site 24/7 staff who interact with and ensure the accountability and safety of the residents is unique. We cannot stress enough how critical the overall environment has been to our son’s recovery, learning and assimilation back into productive society. Providence Farms mandates that all residents participate in full-time school and/or work to ensure that they are out of the residence and engaged in productive experiences like any other Northbrook resident. This enables Providence Farms to provide a rigorous and accountable home away from home environment. In addition, all residents must proactively participate in local community outreach and charitable engagements. The Providence Farms residential environment and structured accountable approach ensures that the all residents are respectful and engaged members of the Northbrook community. There are no other residential recovery programs in the Chicago area like Providence Farms, and we feel incredibly grateful that our son can benefit from both the environment and therapy he is receiving there. We applaud you and the Village Board of Northbrook for supporting the mission of Providence Farms and allowing a place in your community for young people to regain their lives, dignity and future.

Dear president Frum, I am a former resident at Providence Farm and I am a drug addict. If you saw me walking down the street you would not know I was a drug addict. I am a nice guy with a full time job. I grew up in Glencoe with two wonderful parents and two sisters who all love me very much. Like many young people in our area, I went down a very dark path. Without going too much into that, by the time I was seventeen, I was getting ready to drop out of high school and run away from home. By the grace of God and my wonderful parents, I had the opportunity to go to treatment in California. I came back to the area after ninety days of intense inpatient and was quickly reintroduced to the same people, places and habits. There was absolutely no support system out here other than a few AA meetings for young people. Around the time I turned eighteen, I heard about the potential for a Northshore community-based, sober living environment. I attended village meetings to advocate for Providence Farm’s opening and helped mulch and paint the property before it opened. I was their first resident. I came to PF after attending the Chapman Center, in Evanston. While at Chapman, I was the youngest client by twelve years. It was a struggle to relate to anyone there. I then moved into Providence Farm. I was the first resident; I lived there for eight months. With that support that I got from PF, I was able to meet many young people that were in recovery. I was also able to gain the life that I never thought I could have, the life I didn’t even think I deserved. With the help of PF, I got a job and built relationships with my peers. More importantly I gained the respect of my peers and family back. Today I am able to maintain a sober, healthy lifestyle. I have been sober for over a year. I now help other alcoholics and drug addicts to maintain a sober lifestyle and actively hold a service position with PF and within the AA community. I am grateful that the Board supported Providence Farm, so that my friends and I had the unique opportunity to work toward our recovery while reintegrating into our communities and near our families.

Northbrook Village Board members recently expressed support, in often-moving terms, for zoning-code changes needed to open a controversial sober living home in a wealthy party of town. Officials said a vote won't come until Feb. 28 at the earliest, but six of seven board members made it clear they supported the Providence Farm locating on a 2.4-acre parcel at 1620 Sunset Ridge Road, and the required zoning code changes that would allow up to 10 men who had made it through a rehab stint to live there at one time, along with one staff member. Currently, only six people can live in such a home in Northbrook. Read the full article originally posted on the Chicago Tribune

  [player id=11487] Providence Farm in the Media Listen to Stephanie Zwilling, LCSW, Providence Founder and Director introduce the heart and spirit of community-based, community-supported recovery. Posted on The Woodbury Report