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.
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.