Men in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes have a place to turn for help in battling drug or alcohol addiction. It's called a Place of Restoration, a Christian-based nonprofit treatment program based in Gray.
Director Kevin Laughlin answered a few questions about the program's services and needs. Here are his edited answers:
1. What specific services do you provide?
We have an in-residence drug and alcohol program for men. We work with about 20 men at a time. The program is a nine-month commitment. The men in the program live in a dormitory that we have here on the property.
2. Tell us a short story that illustrates how your services have helped others.
There are many testimonies of families being restored and lives being changed by the lord here at A Place of Restoration. One story is a guy named Jeremy Smith.
Jeremy came here about five years ago. When he arrived, he was broken and depleted by his addiction. His mother dropped him off with the hope of something changing. She didn't know what else to do for him.
Jeremy successfully completed the program and grabbed a hold of everything the lord had to offer him. His heart was grabbed by Jesus so much that he felt called to stay on for further training to help others receive what he had received here. Two years later, Jeremy met a wonderful Christian woman. Jeremy and Amber are now married and have recently had a beautiful baby girl. They both live here on the property and are serving here on staff.
This is the kind of change and freedom we are going after -- not just drug-and-alcohol-free but a true life change. We want men to walk in the purpose that the lord has for them.
3. What data can you cite that would give people an idea of the extent your services are needed in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes?
The statistics are obviously rising at a rate that is scary. They do not just call addiction a problem but it is now referred to as an epidemic. Just to give you an idea of the need for affordable programs that work, in 2009, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug- or alcohol-abuse problem. Of these, only 2.6 million -- 11.2 percent of those who needed treatment — received it at a treatment facility.
4. How many people do you serve in an average month?
We have 14 beds available for men in the program. We also have five beds available for men in our Servant Leadership Training Program. This program is a yearlong commitment after the nine-month program for men who feel called to learn how to minister and serve the men in the program.
5. What are the qualifications someone needs to meet to receive your services?
The first step in enrolling is a phone interview, where we decide how serious the man is in getting recovery. The main qualification we are looking for is genuine brokenness. Because we are limited on bed space, we want to be sure that we are filling those opportunities with men who are serious about investing in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
6. How can someone apply?
Visit our website, aporhouma.com, and click on the admission procedure link. Fill out the form and someone will get back with them. There is also a phone number on that website -- 223-3253 -- that they can call for an interview.
7. What is your annual budget? Where does the money come from?
We operate on a $25,000-a-month budget. Eighty percent is met by our industries and the other 20 percent by donations.
As part of the program, the men work along with staff members on the job each day. We have class until 10:30 a.m. weekdays, then we go to work on job sites until 4:30 p.m.
Our industries are lawn and home-improvement services. The men do not receive income. Their work on the job sites is to help with the cost of their stay here. We feel if we do our part in work efforts then the lord will provide the opportunities to work and meet the remainder of needs by donations.
8. What is your organization's greatest need?
Our greatest needs are work opportunities and money. We would like to grow with more staff housing. If we can increase our staff, then we can help more men come out of the bondage of addiction.
9. Does your group need volunteers? What specific activities are available for volunteers? How can they sign up?
We do have a cooking schedule; anyone can sign up for to cook for the men. We have been blessed by church members cooking dinner for the men a few nights a week. The men are really blessed by this, and it takes some weight off the food budget. The sign-up for the cooking ministry is also on our website, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. Does your group need donations of money, services or goods? What are those needs and how can people donate?
A Place of Restoration is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We, along with our participants and their families, greatly appreciate your partnership and support. We rely heavily on financial gifts to be able to do this valuable work.
We also accept donations of vehicles, clothing, food, toiletries and more. All donations are tax-deductible. You can donate through PayPal directly from our website or by mail at APOR; P.O. Box 1182; Gray, LA 70359.
11. What is the greatest reward volunteers receive in exchange for their time?
The testimonies of men and their families' lives being radically changed. There is a real fulfilling when they hear these testimonies and realize that they had a part in it.
Posted on Tue, March 7, 2017
by By Edith Nevis, The Courier and Daily Comet