Lakeland Public TV: Construction Underway For The Heartland Activity and Wellness Center In Park Rapids
A Better Connection and the Heartland Activity and Wellness Center have set out to break cycles of poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, childhood obesity and, most of all, unmet needs of the community.
“I got tired of saying, ‘no, we don’t have that service in town,’ so I started hiring people and providing some of those services,” said Danielle Lien, president of A Better Connection and Board of Directors HAWC.
Not only will behavioral health needs to be met, but also an adjoining community center will create additional opportunities.
Rep. Rick Nolan visited the center and said, “well, it’s very inspirational to see what the community is doing by pulling together the private sector, the community, the state and the federal in a way that really benefits the community in just a multitude of ways. It helps create a community where people want to live and raise their families and work and spend their lives in.”
One of the many unique services the HAWC will provide is integrated treatment.
“We don’t experience them individually. I don’t have my chemical health struggles and my mental health struggles. I have them together, so being able to treat the client as a whole rather than trying to divide out those symptoms it only makes sense,” said Rita Anderson, Program Director at A Better Connection.
Providing the best possible care was always at the heart of the project.
“Danielle is going to make a difference, just 100 percent is going to make a difference and I wanted to be a part of that,” said Carrie Parks, the HAWC Executive Director.
The dream is becoming a reality with the construction for the project now underway and hype throughout the Park Rapids area beginning to grow.
“I really think what they are doing here, the way they have pulled so many facets of the community together could really be a model for the rest of the county,” Rep. Nolan said.
It’s a model built on the idea of community connection. “The connections that people are making with family members, with other residents, with professionals and with advocates,” Lien said.
Danielle and her team are leading the way, one connection at a time.