A Sanctuary for First Responders

First Responders, our heroes on the front lines, are often exposed to situations which put them at risk of developing trauma. And with the arrival of Covid-19, danger and anxiety are amplified, making it very difficult to maintain physical and mental health.

Retired Illinois State Police Captain, Dan Roach, and Reverend Tammy Roach established Cornerstone Retreat Center (CRC) for the purpose of helping First Responders and their family members who have experienced trauma or will have to deal with it due to the nature of their work.

“Many first responders think they leave everything back at the job,” says Dan. “But when you’re silent when you come home, your family members sense that things aren’t right.”

CRC is a safe, natural, and confidential environment where First Responders can enjoy activities, build connections, or just relax with their families. Located in rural Henry County, IL, the center is made up of 40 acres of beautiful land with trails, ponds, and meadows.

Getting in touch with nature can be very therapeutic. “The healing process is multi-faceted,” says Tammy. “Spiritual, mental, and physical.”

The Roaches decided to create CRC because they have both cared for first responders in their own disciplines. They have witnessed the effects of trauma that these workers and their families experience. Many of our members face harsh conditions on a day-to-day basis.

“Being a first responder comes with unique challenges to our physical and mental health.”  Says Chief Steward of Master Sergeants, Jim Poortinga. “If you are struggling, don’t wait to get help. Whether you utilize the Cornerstone Retreat Center or another form of treatment, make sure you make your health a priority.  Above all, remember you are not alone.”   

They have solid plans to expand in the near future. For more information, please go to https://cornerstoneretreatcenter.com.

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