‘It’s teaching me patience’: New garden at Hope Center helping men in recovery program

‘It’s teaching me patience’: New garden at Hope Center helping men in recovery program
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:45 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Hope Center in Lexington has a space for men in recovery to find healing in. The George Privett Recovery Center has a garden, where men in recovery volunteer to plan and care for the fresh produce. It’s a space where they find nurturing, too.

The quaint garden outside of the Hope Center gives a group of men room to grow.

“It’s teaching me patience,” said Ronnie Vallbona.

Vallbona is originally from Miami. Life took him on a path to Lexington, where he’s now in charge of marking out the lines.

“My life here, it came to a grinding stop because of my alcoholism. The Hope Center’s teaching how to deal with the problems in life that I was struggling with. So I can start a new life when I leave,” Vallbona said.

His new friend and coworker Josh Mayfield has been in the garden for the last two months.

“We come out here and water it every day,” Mayfield said.

Both men said the job has taught them patience.

“They’re actually here from planting to harvest. They can kind of come out and watch the garden grow while they’re growing in their recovery,” said Chuck Gilliam, the Hope Center recovery program director.

People who are experiencing homelessness are able to have access to this fresh produce through the Hope Center.

“It feels wonderful to be able to help people that are actually in need,” Mayfield said.

Their small oasis is a source of produce and pride.

“There’s no feeling like it. It took a little patience for me in the beginning, but now that I see it growing, and coming to, we’ve got a few plants with vegetables coming out on it, it’s well worth the wait,” Vallbona said.

What started as a pile of dirt, is now new life.

“I’m proud of it all for real,” Mayfield said.

The Hope Center will accept donations from the community come next spring. The garden will need seeds, tomato starter plants and soil.

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