From the title of this, you would think that this blog would be about our country's economic recovery. Nope. This is instead about recovery from addiction, and the creative efforts of a local man whose passion to help others in their efforts to make a comeback from alcohol and drug addiction is quite remarkable. Specifically, this is about my good friend James Kasper's most recent project.
Alcohol or drug addiction of one kind or another affects or touches the lives of almost every family in our community. There are a number of agencies and entities whose purpose it is to assist the dependent and addicted with recognizing and recovering from their problem. Government sponsored and private treatment providers, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.
But there is a relative paucity of housing in our community that offers structure and support for those who are trying to do something to better themselves by overcoming their alcohol or drug problem.
Think about it. It is not unusual, for example, for spouses, parents, or other family to have “burned out” on trying to support their loved one, often justifiably so – as they lose patience, booting the addict out of the house. I would expect that homeless shelters right now must be overwhelmed, given the recent sharp uptick in joblessness and economic upheaval affecting our community and our nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Addicts who might be returning to the community from completion of a jail or prison sentence are not often welcomed into households, or deemed qualified by landlords to enter into apartment or home rental agreements, because of the criminal conviction stigma that follows them out of incarceration.
You get the picture. It can be tough for people, even those who have acknowledged their issues and embraced recovery, to find a stable place to live. Particularly one which offers both the support and structure that can be so crucial in the early weeks and months, if not years, of recovery from addiction.
Kasper recognized this need. And he has set his mind to do something about it. In short, he and a team of like-minded colleagues have begun the process of refurbishing what was formerly the Value Motel in Hazel Dell into “Oxford house” style housing for recovering addicts.
Kasper's plan and his purpose have previously been covered in great detail in two recent articles published locally that I am aware of. I encourage you to click on these links and read more about his project.
To read a September 21, 2020, article published in the Columbian newspaper, “Plan: Value Motel to become recovery house”, click on: https://www.columbian.com/news/2020/sep/21/plan-value-motel-to-become-recovery-house/.
To access and read the October 6, 2020, Clark County Today publication article, “A new identity, Kasper Recovery Housing and the Value Motel”, click on this link: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/health/a-new-identity-kasper-recovery-housing-and-the-value-motel/.
My purpose in writing this blog was simply to draw additional attention to Kasper's project. I have known Kasper a long time, and he is brimming with ambition, good intentions, and is a man of his word. I have every confidence that this project that he and his colleagues have embarked upon will turn into something that will end up being a great asset to our community. Many of our community's business leaders and finest citizens at one point in their lives faced similar challenges to those which Kasper's project is designed to address.
In fact, I think at this point in time, I can stop writing about this, and instead just go to the website identified by the Columbian article for making a financial contribution to this excellent cause myself. https://www.gofundme.com/f/recovery-housing-refurbish-fund?teamInvite=3liM08AB4AuT0Zs6hBPw0vyPkhzPVwKQNjszkFZX7zwxPq31M1XAuAAQGfJTcFH9&fbclid=IwAR2VxLCNeVPEzYtDkB7LFJI53hifEid5tm-h51rSCZfUSNFL1vKYKPF1y2E.