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Cumberland Heights

September 1, 2007
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Hazel Hawkins Martin Memorial Adolescent Residence

Photography by Gerd Muller

Youths ages 13 to 18 who receive treatment services at Cumberland Heights' new residential facility in west Nashville, Tennessee, will encounter an environment that is both calming and safety-sensitive, according to agency administrators.

“When you think about the adolescent angst associated with putting several people in one building, and then you add the issue of withdrawal from drugs, tempers can flare easily,” explains Hugh Nash, who directs marketing efforts for the 41-year-old treatment organization. He adds, “You plan for everything, but you expect the best.”

The Hazel Hawkins Martin Memorial Adolescent Residence, designed to complement six older buildings on the west Nashville campus, has an open, airy feel, with living spaces almost twice the size of those in Cumberland Heights' former adolescent residential facility. The new facility increases the agency's residential bed capacity for adolescents from 16 to 24, with eight of those beds set aside for extended-stay treatment of 90 days or more. Youths began moving into the spacious new facility in July.

The facility features high ceilings, walls reinforced with Sheetrock, and carpet laid out in squares for easy maintenance and replacement. A vast lounge area can easily be divided into two lounges for males and females in the coed facility, or can be used as one large common area.

The main office in the building offers a view of the entire living space, enhancing security. “This has been smartly designed with an ability to monitor,” Nash says.

Youths are being housed two to a bedroom, with four youths sharing a suite with one bathroom. Light-colored leather furniture in common areas will eventually be replaced with brighter-colored furnishings.

A back porch at the facility looks out over open acreage on the campus, offering a peaceful environment for youths in recovery, says Noelle Kirkham, Cumberland Heights' director of adolescent services. “Many components of our campus have a huge impact on recovery,” she says.

The lounges along the back of the building include panoramic window views of the outdoors. Outdoor activities are closely linked to youths' overall treatment at Cumberland Heights—equine therapy, a ropes course, and other activities are all available on-site.

Inside the facility, “Therapeutically we have a lot more ability to do things than we did before,” Nash says. “There are fewer spatial restrictions; we have more group space.” At present all services are available on one floor, although a basement area is also being developed for group rooms and therapy offices.

The cream-colored exterior features columns at the front of the building and a steeple design, in keeping with design concepts seen throughout the Cumberland Heights campus.

The facility is named after the mother of its chief donor. Hazel Hawkins Martin, who was killed by a drunk driver, embodied many of the principles of giving that Cumberland Heights stands for in its approach to serving the community, Nash says.