By Shayla Reaves
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After years of battling addiction, a Twin Cities woman is helping others do the same.
Crystal Hill-Hover and its business partners opened the Twin Cities Wellness and Recovery Center in January. The licensed facility is located at 2912 North Second Street in North Minneapolis, providing outpatient services to people recovering from addiction. The center focuses on mental and physical health, a journey that Hill-Hover has spent years navigating on her own.
“I have something I can give to everyone who walks through the door because I’ve been where they are,” said Hill-Hover CEO and Chairman. “I had been using drugs, I would say hard drugs since I was 15. I started drinking and smoking weed when I was 12. I never felt like someone, that’s why I sold drugs. By the time I was in my early thirties…it was a game. I wanted to be the top dog and just run stuff. It’s really so pathetic when you think about it, but that’s how it was.”
Hill-Hover served two sentences on felony drug charges and says a prison boot camp experience changed his life.
“Their very last question, they had us at attention, was, ‘See those doors right there? And it was the doors of the prison gymnasium. ‘See those doors right there? It’s your last chance. You’re going to change your life or you don’t,” Hill-Hover said of the experience. “I had no idea what I was getting into and I remember saying, ‘It’s time, Crystal. You’re going to do it. And I did it.
After more than 20 years of battling addiction and an eating disorder, the wife, mother and business owner is now a certified peer-recovery specialist. At 40, she’s on parole, celebrating six years of sobriety, earning her GED, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She is now preparing her doctorate.
“I was like, ‘I’ve got two first-degree felonies. The first time you got out of jail was really hard. Nobody wants to hire you, nobody trusts you, nothing,'” Hill said. -Hover.” Now my CV, MBA, nobody refuses me. I wanted to secure my future here. Education does that.
Hill-Hover’s goal is to enroll 32 participants in the Twin Cities Wellness Center and Recovery Gym program. Ten active participants signed up at the end of January.
“She knows exactly what I’m going through. She knows exactly what people are going through. She’s been there. She has lived. She succeeded,” said participant Thomas Sederberg. “I think it just gives me a level of respect.”
Hill-Hover shared advice for others struggling with addiction.
“Just keep pushing. The struggle is there for a reason. It’s there for a reason and you can get away with it,” Hill-Hover said. “It’s normal to ask for help. It’s OK. It doesn’t make you less of a person. It doesn’t make you weak.
The Twin Cities Licensed Wellness Center and Recovery Room offers group counseling and educational programs. Sessions cover topics such as peer relationships, healthy living, maintaining recovery as well as criminal and addictive thinking. For more information on the Twin Cities Wellness Center and Recovery Room, visit: tcwcrg.com
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