BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — West Michigan churches have come together to provide an aftercare program for men coming out of alcohol and drug addiction programs.
Hope House is the name of a new home that will give six men the opportunity to develop a spiritual foundation while also learning life skills to be successful.
"This home is being completely reconstructed to serve as an aftercare home for men who have come out of a drug and alcohol addiction," said Victory Life Church's Lead Pastor James Sunnock.
Hope House still needs a lot of work until it will be ready for men to move in who have struggled with addiction all of their lives.
"What we are finding is once they have completed a one-year program for sobriety, too much is expected for them. It was too big of a step to come out of a program to find a job, find housing, learn the life skills to improve, it was just too much and many were falling back," said Sunnock.
Victory Life Church on the outskirts of Battle Creek and Hood Church in the inner-city came together to form the partnership.
The two purchased an abandoned home and are now working on completing an over $200,000 renovation to give those newly sober a place to get on their feet.
"That home addresses all of those issues by giving them a place that is low in rent, helps them find work, helps them develop life skills and budgeting skills, so they can be successful, move out and make room for the next guy," said Sunnock.
The idea originally stemmed from Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker a few years ago. He asked local churches to get involved to help solve community issues like the one being addressed.
"I think if you have a chance to reach out and work with people that think like you, have walked in your shoes, have suffered the stress of trauma that you have suffered, be able to be mentored and coached by those types of your peers, I think is more ideal than certainly in a clinical session, although it's certainly required," said Battle Creek Police Department Chief of Police Jim Blocker.
Pastor Sunnock said it's a unique program as the men will have to make and follow the house rules, do chores and will be required to find a job to help pay a small portion of rent.
"The house really represents the lives of the men here. The house itself is getting a second chance by getting revitalized and restored, and that is what we hope to do in the men’s lives," said Sunnock.
Hope House is expecting construction to be completed by January 2022 and to have the first group of men move in sometime around then.