Addiction recovery center opens doors

Healing Pines Recovery offers hope for those seeking better life

Chancy J. Gatlin-Anderson
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 6/18/21

Healing Pines Recovery opened its doors on June 14 after two years of planning, preparation, and renovation. The 40-acre property located south of downtown Elizabeth is an eight-bed facility designed …

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Addiction recovery center opens doors

Healing Pines Recovery offers hope for those seeking better life

Posted

Healing Pines Recovery opened its doors on June 14 after two years of planning, preparation, and renovation.

The 40-acre property located south of downtown Elizabeth is an eight-bed facility designed to provide patients with tools necessary to continue their sobriety through life.

Paul Leafstedt, the executive director of the facility, showed the Elbert County News around the farmhouse and property on June 17. Leafstedt, a person in recovery himself, aims to turn his struggle and experience with addiction and recovery into a place for Coloradans and those in nearby states to better their lives and give back to the community.

The facility consists of a cabin-style farmhouse with vaulted ceilings and views of the Front Range. There are multiple community living spaces, both indoor and outdoor, and dedicated rooms for group and individual therapy.

Leafstedt has big plans for the large outdoor farm space including a pickleball court, walking trail and Frisbee golf course. There is also a large unused barn on the property that he plans to convert into a crossfit gym for patients to use.

Leafstedt’s dream of opening Healing Pines Recovery, however, received some pushback from neighboring ranchers and landowners.

“There was pushback from the immediate neighbors and their friends regarding opening the treatment center. Most, if not all, said they think what we are doing is great and that people need it, just not here,” said Leafstedt.

An Elbert County News article described the initial December 11, 2019 town meeting where Leafstedt first shared his plans: “The emotions ran high, as many residents expressed a need for the treatment facility, but feared it would bring their property values down, draw on limited emergency resources, pose a risk for family members and bring adverse behaviors by recovering addicts to their community.”

Since the initial pushback in 2019, however, many locals and businesses have embraced Leafstedt and Healing Pines Recovery, welcoming them and expressing interest in collaboration to help those in recovery.

“We would love to help them heal and invite them here to learn to make tortillas and cinnamon rolls. It is important that we work together as a community,” said Isabel Salmon, owner of nearby Isabel’s Coffee in Elizabeth. “We are all a part of the same community and when we work together, we become selfless, have more compassion and forgiveness, and have more empathy for humankind.”

Leafstedt is overwhelmed by the recent community support, including direct neighbors who are looking forward to opening up their farms to the residents in recovery. Leafstedt hopes to develop a program for residents to interact with the animals on nearby farms and ranches in exchange for helping the neighbors with work.

“The time I have spent in the community over the past two years has made me fall in love with Elizabeth. It is the perfect example of `neighbors helping neighbors’ and creating support for the entire community,” said Leafstedt. “When a fellow resident in Elizabeth had their house burn down, the community came together for donations to support the family in need. Healing Pines is exactly that, connection to others, Mother Nature, to family, to the community, to neighbors, and to oneself.”

For more information on Healing Pines Recovery, visit healingpinesrecovery.com. You can also contact Paul Leafstedt directly at paul@healingpinesrecovery.com.

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