Detroit’s RecoveryPark has been ordered to repay $750,000 in Michigan Strategic Fund loans, a new setback for the nonprofit that was once a media darling for its mission to provide agricultural jobs to formerly incarcerated people .
According to an Ingham County Circuit Court Wednesday order reported by Crain’s company in Detroit, the order stems from a lawsuit filed in May by assistant attorneys general representing Michigan’s Strategic Fund, alleging RecoveryPark and its for-profit subsidiary failed to reach a final stage under the deal. . RecoveryPark failed to hire six additional employees as promised and also missed a deadline to repay the loan in installments.
“We’re a bit confused and frustrated, to say the least,” said RecoveryPark President Pat Crosson. Crain’s. “We have reached every milestone except for the last six employees.”
RecoveryPark was founded by Gary Wozniak, a former drug addict who was sentenced to five years in federal prison for fraud. After struggling to find work after his release and sensing the farm-to-table trend gaining popularity in the culinary scene, he came up with the idea that customers might be willing to pay extra for food. if they knew she had been cultured for a while. good cause.
His story was picked up by national media, including The Wall Street JournalNBC News and The New York Times, and received praise from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Since 2013, RecoveryPark has raised funds to build eight hoops in Detroit to employ formerly incarcerated and recovering individuals, and ultimately build a larger 1.5 acre glass greenhouse as part of a 13 vision millions of dollars.
The project has yet to materialize. Last year, Metro timetables found the RecoveryPark site in poor conditionwhich Wozniak blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic.
According Crain’sRecoveryPark’s troubles began before the pandemic as it struggled with its finances, and it asked the state for loan forgiveness in 2019.
Nevertheless, Crosson said Crain’s that RecoveryPark still intends to move forward with the project.