Jackie Nitschke Center continues mission with recovery homes
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – Since 1973, the Jackie Nitschke Center (JNC) has helped those struggling with substance addiction and mental health disorders by providing hope, healing and recovery.
The organization continued its mission Sept. 23 with the official ribbon cutting for the Cornerstone Recovery Home for Men, at 700 Cherry St.
The home, which was previously used for office and therapy space, was remodeled and can now house up to 12 men.
“We are very happy to bring this recovery home onto our campus and closer to the treatment programs and support that is so important in the recovery process,” Michelle Pierquet-Hohner, director of Community and Donor Engagement said.
A day later, just up the block, at 108 N. Quincy St., ground was broken for the Lyndahl Family Recovery Home for Women.
“It has been a busy week for the JNC,” Pierquet-Hohner said. “The Lyndahl Home will be the second recovery home for women located on the JNC campus, helping to fill the need for the many women seeking this supportive environment. Altogether, the three JNC recovery homes will offer a total of 28 beds for those in early recovery.”
She said completion of the Lyndahl House is expected in spring 2022.
Pierquet-Hohner said recovery housing is an intervention recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, specifically designed to address the recovery person’s need for a safe and healthy living environment, while at the same time offering peer support.
She said the transition from rehab back to life in the community can be difficult.
“JNC recovery homes provide a safe and healthy environment to support men and women in early recovery, empowering them with the time and support they need to learn to sustain long-term recovery and transition towards living independent and productive lives in our community,” she said. “The transition from rehab back to life into the community is one of the most vulnerable periods for a person in addiction recovery, and for many, returning to their previous living arrangement increases the risk of relapse.”
Started as the Samaritan House, the substance abuse treatment facility was renamed in honor of Jackie Nitschke, the late wife of Green Bay Packers great Ray Nitschke in 1997.
Jackie Nitschke was a recovering alcoholic and advocate in the recovery community.
Pierquet-Hohner said residents of JNC recovery homes are required to seek employment, work, volunteer and/or be enrolled in school, and are also responsible to pay a modest rent.
“Residents are also required to participate and contribute to a successful recovery community and check in regularly with the JNC recovery housing coordinator,” she said.
James Petrie, a former JNC house liaison, said sober living was an important part of his recovery process.
”Homes like this are more than just a sober environment to live in,” Petrie said. “It’s a place to find support and help when we could not support and help ourselves. This newly renovated home is much-needed. It’ll be a good place to hold meetings and a place for residents to bring their families, a place to bridge the gaps in broken and bruised relationships.”
Pierquet-Hohner said construction on Cornerstone was delayed a year because of the pandemic.
She said more than 50% of the renovations were funded by area foundations, donors and organizations.
She said thanks to recent grants from the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay, the JNC will also be able to increase its programming support for those residing in these homes.
Pierquet-Hohner said a gift from the Lyndahl family is leading the way on funding for the new women’s home, but she said opportunities exist for additional support.
She said the goal for each resident is to become a self-sufficient and productive member of society.
“The Jackie Nitschke Center understands that stable housing and community supports are critical to maintaining long-term recovery and are investing in additional recovery home beds as part of their continuum of care,” she said.
Residency at JNC recovery homes is a maximum of 18 months.
The center also offers outpatient treatment programs for individuals and families.