Impact Life Inc. was set this week to host a ribbon-cutting for their newest addiction recovery program, The Sanctuary, at Impact Life Farm in Seaford. The event, set for Thursday, Oct. 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. is free and open to the public.

The Sanctuary at Impact Life Farm is located at 4973 Boyce Road, Seaford. It will begin as a 10-bed transitional residential treatment program that will serve pregnant and parenting women in substance-use recovery, including those re-entering society post-incarceration and those who are justice-involved and provide support services to their children.

Though Delaware is the second smallest state in the U.S. with the sixth lowest state population in the nation (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the state ranks second-highest in the nation in per capita overdose deaths, as per the Centers for Disease Control, particularly in rural areas like Seaford.

The Sanctuary, which sits on 17 acres of land, will offer animal-assisted therapy, therapeutic culinary arts and a whole-person holistic approach to programming. In addition to the recovery residence, the farm will offer a workforce development program. The goal is to create career development and training programs that will strengthen and increase opportunities for recovery and re-entering society.

“Structured, supportive recovery residences are an integral part of a successful aftercare plan. We must prepare individuals for the next level of care, no matter what that is. We are creating something long-term and sustainable in an attempt to break the cycles of addiction and justice involvement,” said Nikole Papas, board president of Impact Life. “In these programs, they will be surrounded by successful people in recovery, engaged in service work, and will be able to share their victories, triumphs, and setbacks while navigating the always rocky road to recovery.”

“The first four steps of recovery are directly connected to farming,” said Domenica Personti, CEO of Impact Life. “Accepting what you cannot change, like weather challenges, animal illness, crop failures; believing in a higher power, like nature, community; changing the things you can, like learning to pivot, focusing on gratitude; and taking inventory to identify the part you play in all of it, good and bad.”

“By providing a safe space operated under the pillars of Compassion, Connection and Kinship, these programs promise to create an environment of holistic healing for anyone looking to enhance their skill set and strengthen their recovery process,” representatives said.

The Sanctuary at Impact Life Farm was funded through a grant made available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA).

“DSHA has administered the CDBG to strengthen and build communities for many years. We appreciate this funding and are glad to see it used in new, impactful ways,” said Eugene Young Jr., director of DSHA. “I’m confident that this investment, brought to life by our fantastic state and nonprofit partners, will ensure those in need can find a place to heal.”