After 40 years in Newport News, addiction treatment program finds new home 'to up our level of care'

Faith Recovery new facility exterior 2023
Faith Recovery new facility 1 2023
Faith Recovery final graduation in Newport News February 2023
Posted at 2:07 PM, Feb 19, 2023

YORK COUNTY, Va. - For four decades, people have found freedom from addiction in downtown Newport News. Sunday, the treatment program behind it all began a new chapter in a new community.

This week, Faith Recovery is moving into a new facility on Ewell Road in York County, after 28 years on 34th Street in Newport News — more than 40 years in the city, total.

Founded in 1979, the program, formerly called Youth Challenge of Hampton Roads, is faith-based and requires those in treatment for addiction to live at the facility for up to a year.

The new location will start with 14 men living there for six months, according to Executive Director Travis Hall. The 3.5-acre property will also house at least two live-in staff, a chapel and offices for licensed counseling and program administration.

“This will be a big change for us, but we’re excited. We’re excited to be able to up our level of care," said Hall.

The Hope Center, Faith Recovery's now-previous building, was nearly 100 years old, 39,000 square feet and in need of constant repairs, Hall tells News 3.

It's been swapped for a more home-like, campus feel, with green space, Hall knows firsthand can benefit those in recovery.

“When I came through the program 20 years ago, they used to have a program where we went to a place like this," he said. "Where you can get out in the quiet, hear the birds chirp and get out in nature a bit. It made a big difference for me.”

The move comes nine months after New Kent County leaders denied Faith Recovery's request to move to that community, following pushback from neighbors over public safety concerns.

Development Director Mandi Sabo believes the program ultimately landed in a good spot.

"Just having a space where it’s more laid back and just feels comfortable and like home, where people can really work on their lives and make changes they need to. I think this is the space to do it," she said.

Friday, Hall presided over Faith Recovery's final graduation at its former home.

The next will happen in the new space, but there's still work to be done. Hall says the program has raised more than half of the $125,000 it needs for renovations to the new facility.

Down the line, he tells News 3 he hopes to expand to help as many people as possible.