In 2012, Patti O’Malley and her son were going through recovery for addiction together when her son drove his car off a bridge only five miles away from their home in Abilene, Kansas and relapsed. When he was lost by her, she knew she had to do anything.
“I began reaching out to other women, saying,’Let us talk about addiction,”’ O’Malley says. She opened her home to groups of women suffering from chemical abuse. She did the unthinkable: She gave her home to the girls. They had a place to stay after completing rehabilitation programs.
“The only place they know to return to after rehab is where they have come from,” O’Malley says. “Now we take them from rehab to the Cedar House.”
Cedar House currently boasts also a micro-farm and a neighborhood food bank using a greenhouse, which delights locals with its flora.
“They’ve brought things to Kansas that many have not attempted to expand,” says resident Loressa Nordgren. “They develop banana plants and loofahs that you use if you shower.”
And one more thing’re growing there!
Cedar House has begun breeding a rare, Leonbergers breed of dog that resembles a Saint Bernard. They’re famous for being affectionate, and the litters are being turned into therapy dogs for different women’s service organizations. One of the puppies was recently presented in Nashville, an organization that provides employment and safe housing for women to Thistle Farms.
“The whole business is amazing,” says Danni Moore, a Cedar House resident. I didn’t know what my purpose was on earth. Everything is listened to by patti and she’s such a powerful woman. Love heals.”