Ann Hull Kuster has been a Licensed Independent Social Worker for 35 years, working in the field of eating disorders and addictions for the past 20 years. She is the owner of The Hull Institute, LLC, a private outpatient counseling practice in Northeast Ohio specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and substance use disorders.
In 2020, Ann formed Hull House Recovery Residences, with the intention of opening one home, and as all goes well over time, many homes. This story has yet to be written.
In May, 2020, HHRR was approved as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charity organization. Being a not-for-profit always made sense to Ann. In choosing the name Hull House Recovery Residences, she is continuing the work of Hull House Settlement Home, the first of its kind in the country.
Started in 1889, Hull House provided free housing for immigrant families. Jane Addams and her team of women began a movement in this country to address poverty and inequity, especially amongst women and children. They fought for reform and social justice. They fought for women’s rights, healthcare reform, and equality for marginalized populations.
People with eating disorders, and more so, those with co-occurring substance use and trauma, are still a much marginalized group of people in this country. Research is underfunded, clinicians and physicians don’t know how to treat and often don’t wish to treat ED and SUD, families and friends cannot truly appreciate the challenges people with ED and SUD face every day, 24/7.
All this leaves people with ED and SUD without support and resources as they do the hardest work of their lives: finding recovery, self-love and giving and receiving love in connections with others. Throw in a trauma history, and the people who need the most support after treatment, cannot access it because it does not exist.
In 2020, Jim Kuster, Ann’s husband, purchased the first home to be converted into a recovery residence for women with eating disorders and other addictions. He found a lovely home in West Akron, in need of TLC, or as he would put it, “a massive overhaul”, and he has been doing and overseeing that project. He will rent the home to HHRR. One of the coolest things about this house is it is located less than 1 mile from the home of the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting: the guard house at Stan Hywet Hall. That first meeting took place in 1935 with Dr. Bob and Bill W. It is so special that our first home is right in the heart of the birthplace of A.A.