Ann Hull Kuster has been a Licensed Independent Social Worker for 36 years, working in the field of eating disorders and addictions for the past 22 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 addictions.
In 2020, Ann formed Hull House Recovery Residences. The home is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charity organization. Being a not-for-profit always made sense to Ann; HHRR is not about the money. “We developed HHRR to fill an unmet need: Accountability, Connection and Love after treatment for an eating disorder and/or an addiction.”
In choosing the name Hull House Recovery Residences, Ann is continuing the work of Hull House Settlement Home, the first of its kind in the country. Starting in 1889 in Chicago, 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 addiction 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 refuse to treat eating disorders and addictions. Families and friends cannot truly appreciate the challenge’s people with these brain disorders face every day.
All this leaves people with an eating disorder and/or addiction without support and resources as they do the most challenging work: finding lasting recovery, self-love, and giving and receiving love in connection with others. These individuals deserve the support and resources they need to create a life worth living; a life worth sharing.
The First Recovery Residence Is Born
In 2020, Jim Kuster, Ann’s husband, purchased the first home to be converted into a recovery residence for women with eating disorders and addictions.
He found a lovely home in West Akron, in need of TLC, or as he would put it, “a massive overhaul”, completed in 2021. Jim rents the home to HHRR, which in turn has rental agreements with its residents.
Something special about HHRR- it is located less than one mile away from the guardhouse at Stan Hywet Hall, the birthplace of the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 1935.