Building a House of Hope

Birch Tree Communities is dedicated to helping make a full life in the community possible for those recovering from mental illness.  Birch Tree’s Hope House 16-bed crisis unit in Benton, Arkansas had to balance necessary treatment, supervision and security needs with a healing and nurturing residential environment – all within a limited budget.  From its gabled roofs to the central courtyard, the 8,900 square foot, one -story Hope House feels decidedly non-institutional.  Elements such as garden and seating spaces, sheltered with a perforated metal privacy fence, were incorporated to offer access to outdoor spaces for therapy and for resting.  An open floor plan with views to outdoors and sight lines to the nurse’s station allows members to move comfortably through the building to shared gym and activity spaces and a seating porch, providing a sense of freedom and autonomy without sacrificing security.  A place where folks in their time of need can find serenity, comfort and above all, hope.

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