Planners Recommend Facility Permit and Supervisors Vote in Favor

Gazette Virginian:

by Miranda Baines, 5/23/24

Gazette Virginian May 23, 2023A speaker in favor of a conditional use permit for the operation of a substance abuse treatment program for women in Nathalie, Regina Nelson, asked the question at Tuesday evening’s Halifax County Planning Commission meeting, “How many of you here tonight have been clean for at least a year?

Hands started going up all over the meeting room. Nelson told the commissioners, “A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without Recovering Hands and Kim Adams.”

Recovering Hands is a nonprofit residential substance abuse recovery program for women that operates on a 150-acre farm in Nathalie owned by Kim and Bill Adams. Kim Adams, founder and CEO of Recovering Hands, shared with the crowd at Tuesday’s meeting that it came to her attention that she had not filed the correct applications with the county to operate Recovering Hands when she started the organization in 2014. She said she was there to rectify that situation and continue to operate the program and “saving women’s lives.”

Adams shared that Recovering Hands has four beds for women in the program, and the average length of stay is three months. It is a non-clinical facility and does not administer any medication. Adams also shared her credentials for operating Recovering Hands with the commissioners.

“I’m a woman in long-term recovery from substance use disorder since Feb. 3, 1991,” Adams shared. “I have a background that includes art therapy, psychodrama trainings and peer recovery specialist credentialing. My background and former life experiences led to my passion to help other women find another way to live.”

The Adams’ permit application also incorporates their plans to convert an existing 24-by-60-foot hay shed on their property to a space where they can offer life skills workshops and crafting opportunities for the residents of Recovering Hands. Life skills workshops will include “improving time management skills” and “learning how to balance life, children, work and recovery.”

The commissioners ultimately voted to recommend approval of the permit for the operation of Recovering Hands to the board of supervisors. Commissioner Bruce Pearce made the motion to approve the permit, and the motion carried in a 6-0 vote.

Vice Chair Mattie Cowan remarked that in all her years serving on the planning commission, she had never seen so many people speak in a public hearing in support of anything as she had with Recovering Hands, and no one spoke in opposition.

“Thank you for all that you do,” Cowan said to Adams, noting that substance abuse recovery programs such as Recovering Hands are “needed” in Halifax County.

A total of 14 people spoke in favor of Recovering Hands in the public hearing prior to the commissioners’ vote on the permit to operate the program. Among those was former resident Callie Elliott, who is now a staff member and is in an undergraduate program at Old Dominion University.

“I have been clean now for 4 ½ years. Recovering Hands saved my life,” Elliott related.

Elliott’s father Eddie Elliott also spoke out in support of Recovering Hands.

“This program saved my daughter’s life. There’s no question about that,” Eddie testified. “These people (at Recovering Hands) support each other, and their support came by being supported.”

Rev. Thad Decker, pastor at Beth Car Baptist Church, also spoke about the community-oriented, supportive environment at Recovering Hands.

“The one thing you need is fellowship, and that’s what you’ll find in this group,” Decker said.

Nancy Simpson, who teaches pottery lessons to the residents at Recovering Hands, also voiced her support of the program.

“Kim has a way of calming these ladies’ spirits. She has taught them that they have another choice,” Simpson explained. “They’re getting their children back. They have jobs. And it’s just wonderful to see them live.”

Lindsey Adams, daughter of Kim and Bill Adams, thanked everyone who came out to show their support at Tuesday’s meeting for Recovering Hands.

“I’m so grateful for everybody’s support tonight,” Lindsey said. “We want people to know that this is an option and this is a resource in our wonderful county.”

Supervisors Vote in Favor of Recovering Hands Business License and New Facility Building

Gazette Virginian:

by Miranda Baines, 6/5/24

A substance abuse recovery program for women, Recovering Hands, received the green light from the Halifax County Board of Supervisors at their Monday evening meeting to continue to operate. On the other hand, the board put the brakes on a pair of proposed solar sites in the Clover area.

Election District 3 Supervisor Hubert Pannell made the motion to approve the conditional use permit for Recovering Hands. Pannell noted he has had an opportunity to visit the facility operated by the program’s founder Kim Adams on her and her husband Bill’s farm in Nathalie.

“It’s a beautiful place, well taken care of,” Pannell expressed. “I was very impressed with Mrs. Adams and I think it (Recovering Hands) is going to serve the county well.”

Supervisors approved the permit for Recovering Hands in a unanimous 8-0 vote, following a recommendation for approval from the planning commission last month.