Greenbrier County now has a substance abuse recovery home just for women.
The home, located in Dawson, is named Seed Sower Inc. and officially opened its doors on November 22.
The idea for this specialized, non-profit recovery home came from the mind of military veteran, former IRS employee, finance manager and Beckley resident Jay Phillips.
According to Phillips, who spoke with The West Virginia Daily News during an open house on November 20, his background may involve “federal numbers crunching,” but it was through his friendship with Tammy Jordan that he became inspired to help women in their journey to end substance abuse.
Jordan is CEO of the popular cafe and bakery Fruits of Labor, with current locations in Rainelle and Alderson. Her mission through Fruits of Labor is to provide those in recovery hands-on job training, a certification through the American Culinary Federation and, ultimately, find employment. Phillips said that she has been his mentor.
“The way that she speaks about her mission is inspiring,” Phillips said of Jordan. “When I was with her, around the mission, the more the mission started to seep into my skin. It gets to where you can’t turn away from it, especially if you know you have the resources and skill sets to contribute.”
Phillips added that Greenbrier County has God’s Way Home, a men’s-only substance abuse and recovery center in Rainelle, founded by Andrew Bailes, but there was “a great gap in the continuum of care for women.” He knew that had to change. So, he did his research, crunched his numbers, found the perfect location for the home and started applying for grants to turn his idea into reality. It wasn’t long before the grant funding started coming in.
He laughed and said that his wife made him “stick around” his federal financial job until he achieved 20-years of service for retirement purposes, but as soon as he celebrated that milestone back on July 31, he left.
“As soon as I did, I opened Seed Sower,” Phillips noted.
The beautiful two-story recovery home sits on top of a hill overlooking Dawson Lake and is surrounded by acres of wooded views. It’s serene location is the perfect site for those making difficult life decisions.
“Most of the ladies who are coming here are coming here with no clothes on their back,” Phillips said. “Many stories of addiction begin with desolation, and so they come to us with no money and no belongings.”
The home has room for 11 women as they continue their recovery journey and provides 24/7 supervised care from staff who have often gone through their own recovery. It is classified as a National Association of Recovery Residences (NARR) level three residence.
To enter Seed Sower, a woman must have already been through a 14-day detox program, Phillips explained. Once on site, women live at the home for a minimum of six months, up to one year. After 60 days, staff helps the women find employment, either through Workforce WV or through a partnership with Fruits of Labor, as part of the recovery to work model.
Additionally, the recovery plan focuses on the “uniqueness of a person’s journey,” Phillips stated. Care providers work to address negative barriers, such as no driver’s license, family concerns and medical issues, and identify a woman’s strengths.
“The first 45 days is all about removing barriers,” Phillips said. “Then, the rest of their time here is all about building strengths.”
There is a fee for each woman to stay at Seed Sower, Phillips said. These fees include $75 a week for room and board and $45 a week for food.
When women first arrive at Seed Sower, they may not have money, insurance or family support, he noted. For this reason, sponsorship from the community is greatly accepted.
There are three ways for the community to help women fund their recovery, Phillips continued. First is the Fresh Start Fund.
This fund provides money to pay for the first months in recovery until employment can be found.
Next is the Practical Needs Fund, which provides finances for the purchase of personal care items, and lastly is the Founders Circle Fund. This fund allows donors to make substantial contributions that will help provide funding for women throughout their recovery process.
Due to the non-profit status of Seed Sower, “sponsorship is crucial,” Phillips said.
Typically, women are referred to Seed Sower either through the criminal justice system, the drug court system or referrals from Seneca Mental Health, Phillips continued. However, he said women may do a self-referral by filling out an online application.
“14 days clean and a desire to recover is all that’s needed,” Phillips said.
To learn more about Seed Sower Inc., to donate, or to start a journey of recovery, visit seedsowerinc.org.