The PATH Foundation is seeking Fauquier County’s blessing to establish a new, privately-operated 24-bed addiction-treatment facility in a home located on a 50-acre tract near Airlie.
The Warrenton-based foundation has a contract to purchase the eight-bedroom, eight-bath, 11,700-square-foot home now known as the Twin Oakes Historic Manor House with an eye toward turning it into the Herren Wellness Retreat at Twin Oaks.
The facility would be run by the Herren Wellness Group, founded by Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player and recovering addict.
The project requires a special-use permit from the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors to operate the recovery center.
Supervisor Chris Granger, whose Center District includes the home, said last week he does not foresee any obstacles to the application.
“I don’t see any red flags,” Granger said.
“In Herren, you have an operator a treatment program working with the PATH Foundation – two credible sources, and it’s in a good location,” Granger said.
The home, at 6791 James Madison Highway (U.S. 17), is owned by Mark and Angela Smith, who purchased it last year from the Airlie Foundation.
PATH is working with the Herren Wellness Group to establish “spiritual wellness retreat focused on recovery from substance abuse” at the 50-acre site. It would be a private-pay facility whose services are generally not covered by health-care insurance, according to the Massachusetts-based foundation’s website.
A four-week stay at the Herren Wellness in Seekonk, Massachusetts cost between $12,500 and $15,000, its website says.
“We’ve gotten to know Chris and his team during the past year, and we’ve been impressed with the work they are doing,” PATH’s Amy Petty said Tuesday. Fauquier County has experienced 269 opiate overdoses, 66 of them fatal, since 2015, she said.
“Over the summer, we learned more about the holistic approach to recovery offered at Herren Wellness and believe it could be a beneficial option. We know there’s not a singular solution to help those in need of recovery.”
PATH funds a range of mental health/substance misuse programs in the community, among them: mental health first-aid training for law-enforcement agencies and for teachers; continuing mental-health education for primary care physicians; a daytime recovery center, Spiritworks; Fauquier Free Clinic’s telehealth psychiatry and counseling program; the Lock Your Meds campaign, motivational speaker Chris Herren’s abuse prevention program in schools; Naloxone anti-overdose medication for local law-enforcement agencies; and recovery services at the adult-detention center.
A drug and alcohol abuse campaign is in the planning stage as well, Petty said.
The Herren retreat would accommodate up to 24 guests on site as well as 12 full-time staff and eight part-time staff or contractors, according to a statement of justification filed by the foundation.
The special-use permit application is expected to go before the county planning commission at its Dec. 20 meeting. The commission will hold a public hearing, then vote on a recommendation to the board of supervisors, although a final vote may not be taken at the December meeting.
The county supervisors will hold their own hearing and then approve or deny the request.
The foundation says the Warrenton retreat will be open to all with substance-abuse issues. If there’s a waiting list, residents from Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper counties will have priority acceptance into the program.
Herren Wellness Group offers life-coaching, education, fitness, sleep analysis, nutritional guidance and mindfulness strategies, according to the organization’s website.
Guests at the Warrenton facility would have access to walking trails, a tennis court and pool. Existing landscaping and forest coverage would remain, according to the statement of justification.
“The PATH Foundation recognizes that adding a spiritual wellness retreat to the list of available treatment options is one of many paths to recovery, for which there is no single solution,” the statement reads.
Granger noted likewise, saying “one size doesn’t fit all.”
For its part, the county and town of Warrenton have been working to convert a building at 340 Hospital Drive near Fauquier Hospital into a 30-day residential facility for recovering addicts.
That facility would use a building currently occupied by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board. It’s not yet known what organization would run the operation.
The RRCSB would move to a building at 12 North Hill Drive. The supervisors last month authorized negotiations to purchase that building.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, the board approved lending the RRCSB $458,333 toward the purchase and renovation of the 12 North Hill Drive building. The RRSCB is paying an additional $250,000 in cash. The county is contributing $708,333 as its 50-50 share.
The RRCSB will repay the loan from the county over 20 years at 3.2 percent fixed interest.
Reach James Ivancic and Karen Chaffraix at firstname.lastname@example.org