On June 1, 2013, Root House residential treatment facility opened its doors to males struggling with addiction in Portage County. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the facility has reached over 900 men and their families.
None of this would have been possible without the efforts of Mike and Valerie Root, along with Jeremy Taugner, who was in recovery himself. Together, they spearheaded the facility’s opening after their son Damian lost his life to a drug overdose in 2010.
The Roots developed a strong desire to help others like their son after his death and gathered support from friends, family, and like-minded community members who formed the C.A.R.E. group (Citizens for Addiction Recovery and Education) and worked to raise funds and generate momentum for a residential treatment facility in Ravenna.
After a few short years of advocacy, they received a funding commitment from the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Portage County. Family & Community Services agreed to operate the facility and provide treatment services. It’s been open ever since.
Today, the facility operates as a 90-day 3.5 ASAM level of care, non-medicinal, residential program for drug and alcohol addiction with 10 beds that are almost always full. Most importantly, the facility has helped hundreds of males in their recovery journey by educating and supporting them in sobriety and changing lives for the good.
A former Root House alumni said, “I will forever be grateful for the Roots and everyone that help in getting the Root House open. For if the Root House has never been, I am absolutely positive I wouldn’t have the life I have today or be the man I am today. Because of the Root House I was given the tools to help me succeed in life and in HOPE Court. I am so grateful for Marina and her staff for never giving up on me. I am grateful for the alumni and men that brought AA meetings into the Root House. I am grateful for the level of care, compassion, and structure that I receiving in the Root House. There is no words that can or will ever express or describe my gratitude for the Roots and everyone involved that helped me find my true authentic self and worth. Forever and always eternally grateful.”
The Roots remember their own son as a “good guy” with so much more to him than his addiction. And they know the impact that addiction has on the parents and families. “It’s not just one person’s addiction, it’s everybody’s” said Valerie and Mike Root. And they want to be able to help others going through it.
Not only do The Roots continue to provide awareness and education throughout the community, but they stop by Root House often to check in and help out. And they tell their story to the residents and carry on their son’s memory through their work in helping others like him.
Over the past decade, the Root House has had an outpouring of support that has made this work possible, from those that helped start it to those who continue to help today, including John & Josephine Kuklison, Lisa Swartout & family, Buck McBride, Marian Cherri, Kevin Hall, Angela Adaczko, Margret Fickey, Deanna & Helen Tackett, Sue Whitehurst, Patrick White, Dawn Peckman, Mark Frisone, David Doak, and many more family, friends, and community members.
Ten years after opening, Root House continues to serve the community and those struggling with substance use and co-occurring disorders. To get help for yourself or someone you know, call Root House at 330-296-2384. You can also make a donation online at weblink.donorperfect.com/roothouse or by mailing a check to 705 Oakwood Street, Suite 221, Ravenna, Ohio 44266 with Root House in the memo line.