Since opening in 1999, The Hansen Foundation has evolved into a multi-faceted recovery facility, offering services that go far beyond what many might consider standard substance abuse recovery. From long term recovery facilities to employment skills training, The Hansen Foundation is redefining what being “in recovery” truly can mean. As one of Ocean Casino Resort‘s Ocean Cares partners, we sat down to talk with Briana Bee, Director of Enlighten Farm at the Hansen Foundation, to chat about the origins of the Foundation, as well as how they are offering a multitude of opportunities to those accessing their services.

How did the Hansen Foundation go from one woman’s story to multiple sites servicing so many citizens in the community?

The Hansen Foundation simply began with Jennifer Hansen’s recovery.  When life seemed hopeless after years of several attempts at rehabilitation, at age 25, she finally entered a women’s transitional program in California where she began to gather the tools she needed to live without drugs. After staying clean for over two years and working a 12-step recovery program in California, she returned home to New Jersey. Feeling the void of resources and options for people trying to heal from addiction, Jennifer was compelled to give back to her community. In 1999, The Hansen Foundation was formed offering support through sober living and scholarships for treatment. They also offer an organic café for fellowship and healthy food, and an organic farm for job training and local produce. 

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Servicing residents in-house is important, but it seems like ensuring that they succeed in the outside world is equally as crucial. How does The Hansen Foundation do that? 

The Hansen Foundation is committed to helping our clients achieve long-term recovery by cultivating a strong community through sober living, job training programs, and daily support from dedicated staff. Together, this provides the clients with both the tools and resources they need to start a new life in a safe and empowered environment. For a full lost of the Hansen Foundation’s recovery resources, click here

The Enlightened Farm is a very interesting part of the Hansen Foundation. Tell me about how it fits into the mission of The Hansen Foundation?

We at Enlightened Farm understand that the regenerative process of nature mirrors the regenerative healing process of individuals recovering from addiction. We work with all of our partners at Enlightened Solutions, Enlightened Solutions Detox, Serenity Houses, and Enlightened Café to nourish people through horticulture therapy and employment skill training programs. We offer programs like  Regenerative Agriculture (providing local and organic produce to all of our partners) and Sustainability (collaboration with our partners on food waste reduction program). Horticulture Therapy is offered, where we provide therapeutic experiences for clients and their families from Enlightenment Solutions, as our transitional program is titled Solid Roots Employment Training, which focuses on helping those in recovery gain a solid employment skills experience at Enlightened Farm.

What is it like having the Ocean Casino Resort as a partner in your mission? 

It is an incredible opportunity for the Hansen Foundation to partner with Ocean Casino Resort! We receive support from both their dedicated staff and loyal customers. Ocean’s team members sign up for volunteer opportunities to help at our services sites, including Enlightened Farm, and support our team during events. Ocean’s customers can also make their own contribution through the Change for Change program, providing direct dollars to our programs for recovery. This partnership helps us further our mission to transform lives one person at a time one day at a time and strengthen our local community.

 

What would the Hansen foundation like to accomplish within five years? 

In 2019 and 2020, the Hansen Foundation along with its sister organizations Enlightened Solutions Detox and Enlightened Solutions (Substance Use Treatment Center) provided $4,909,978 in donated services and scholarships for detox, treatment and recovery housing for over 850 individuals. We anticipate continuing our life-changing work, helping as many people as we can in their recovery from substance use disorder.  

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