Bob was in a rough spot before he met Jacob Jetton and Josh Walter. He was coming off of a severe drug addiction—one that almost killed him. He beat it, though. It took a while for him to get back on his feet—he lived in his car for a while—but eventually he got plugged in with Josh and Jacob at Recentered, a Huntsville nonprofit that helps young adults who are hurting from an abusive or destructive past.
His story isn’t unusual for former addicts. Once they get out of rehab, there’s a period of uncertainty between the highly regulated schedule of rehab programs and the freedom and reality of the outside world.
“A lot of these guys experience the Gospel … in rehab, but then they’re back in the world. And the world can be, and is, a very dark place,” Jacob said.
That’s where Recentered comes in. The nonprofit started when Josh and a few of his friends wanted to mentor younger men in their faith and how it could play out in the workplace. One of their friends, a bailiff at the drug court, noticed there was a need for someone to help men who were coming out of addiction rehabilitation programs.
There was already a mentoring program in place through the courts, so the group of friends went through the process of getting approved to work with these other men. It wasn’t long before they noticed some of the same trends over and over again in these mens’ lives—lack of leadership, broken family dynamics and absent father figures. The group of friends knew they could help some of them through what they call spiritual adoption—mentoring men as they get back on their feet after a conviction or a stint in rehab.
In 2013, the men wanted to do something more to help the community. They bought a house for the men to stay in while they were getting stronger in both their faith and sobriety. Called the Leadership House, it’s a place for fellowship and mentoring. They stay until they’re confident they can go into the world without falling off the wagon or back into their old habits.
“Ultimately what we want to see is guys grow into independence, grow into manhood,” Jacob said. “The ultimate vision is that we want to see them be great workers, great employees, whatever their vision, whatever God has put in their heart.”
In the past four years, they’ve helped more than a hundred men through Recentered. It’s set up to be a six-month program, but there aren’t any hard and fast rules to how long the men can stay there.
Bob moved in two years ago, and in the time he’s been there, he’s stayed sober and proved himself to be an asset for their new business venture: roasting coffee beans.
As they were working with the men in the Recentered program, the leaders noticed another unnerving trend—the men went out and got jobs in environments that were less-than-desirable for recovering addicts. In a lot of cases, there were things going on at their workplaces that were the same things they were trying to get away from. That’s when they got the idea for Recentered Farms—somewhere the men can work on-site while they are getting strong enough to face the world.
“(Recentered Farms) will provide a needed place for young men that complete long-term, state-funded or non-profit rehabilitation programs and desire to avoid falling back into old lifestyles,” according to the website.
One of Jacob’s other passions got the ball rolling on their vision. Growing up, coffee proved to be a source of comfort for Jacob—not because he started drinking it at a young age but because he saw his grandparents and other relatives sitting around drinking coffee and talking to each other.
“There was such a warm sense of just love and fellowship and community,” Jacob said.
As he grew up, coffee was there to teach him some valuable life lessons.
“In my own personal life, I tend to not be very patient,” Jacob said. “The Lord reminds me many times to wait on him and wait on his council, so the beauty about a hot cup of coffee is that you have to slow down … You know if you start trying to gulp it down right when it’s brewed, then you’ll burn your tongue. It kind of slows you down.”
It was that fellowship, community and patience that Jacob wanted to bring to Recentered.
Since they have long wanted a farm to be part of the program, and Jacob knew about the different roasts, it seemed coffee would be a natural foray into a future work-based program.
Even though a functioning farm is still a ways away for Recentered, they decided to go ahead and start roasting coffee beans in the Servant Leadership House. They roast two different kinds of coffee—Ethopian and Honduran—and sell the coffee on their website and at University Pickers.
Funds raised through coffee sales will go towards buying land and supplies to establish Recentered Farms.
While the Leadership House is only for men, Josh and his wife, Briana, started Re-Centered Life House in 2015 to help pregnant women in crisis situations. You can read more about Life House here.
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