Catherine McDowell

Catherine McDowell spoke to us today about ‘Roots of Recovery’ a nonprofit organization that she founded to create a supportive community in the Hampstead and Holly Ridge area for women in recovery from addiction, and their children. Participants can receive housing, education, job training, and a 12-step peer-support program to continue their recovery journey. Oftentimes women in a bad domestic situation have no place to go. Roots of Recovery can provide a safe haven for these women and their children.

Catherine described the long and winding process to provide such a facility for these women. Fortunately, she was able to secure two grants (both awards came in on her birthday!) that allowed for purchase of a property in the Hampstead area with an old house trailer and about 12 tractor-trailer loads of stuff that needed to be hauled away. After refurbishing the house trailer with the help of the Hampstead Rotary Club, Roots of Recovery accepted their first woman and her child who is well on her way to recovery.

One recovered addict wrote “Today, I celebrate 13 years of recovery. My private law practice is thriving, my daughter is in college, and my life is amazing! Those women are still my friends, they helped me find my Roots, and I love when I get a call to go out and help another woman find recovery.”

Another property adjacent to Dixon High School became available at a reasonable price and again Catherine was able to purchase the property that contained two well-worn cinderblock homes and some dilapidated house trailers. Again volunteers stepped up to refurbish the houses and trailers and haul away the years of collected trash. Catherine explained that Roots of Recovery has a variety of volunteers including community club members, high school students and even DWI offenders who work off their community service hours at the facility.

In addition, there was plenty of room at the Dixon property to have a small garden to raise vegetables to help feed the recovering women and their children living in the renovated homes. The Growing Roots Organic Garden Program aims to improve the health of the Roots of Recovery residents, to alleviate food insecurity for community residents, and to create jobs/work opportunities for the residents of our tiny home community. The property needs an over-all landscape plan and Catherine is looking for volunteers with experience in this field. However, she wants the focus to remain on the community garden as tool to help recovering women experience activity and accomplishment in an out-of-door activity that they many have lacked with their addiction.

To donate and/or volunteer at Roots of Recovery follow this link