Community gathers for House of Hope Groundbreaking

From left: John Howard, Marge Schade, Jon Stewart at the March 2020 groundbreaking for the new House of Hope Sober Living Facility.

A modest crowd turned out Wednesday morning for the House of Hope ground breaking ceremony. House of Hope will be a substance abuse rehab and prevention facility. Pre-planning for the project has been underway for a while. Local municipalities and Graham County have been instrumental in getting the project going.

Jon Stewart opened the ceremony and welcomed attendees to the event. Stewart is one the board of directors for the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition. The ceremony started with the pledge of allegiance followed by a prayer, which was offered by Maria Kouts.

John Howard introduced speakers for the event, which included Graham County Supervisor, Paul David, and Jan Napier and Kathy Grimes, director of the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition. According to Grimes, the project began approximately two years ago when former Safford Police Chief, Joe Brugman, called and said that Marge Schade wanted to get a House of Hope to our community. Grimes and Schade met to discuss the project.

Many people have stepped up since that meeting to help carry the project forward. Major funding has come through grants from the City of Safford, Freeport McMoran, and others. The facility will be built on 1st Street, behind the Pepsi distribution plant, which is owned by Marge Schade.More details about the House of Hope will be featured in an upcoming episode of Voice of the Valley.