Recovery Cafe Coordinator Brian Richardson speaks with Maura Walsch on Friday, as they work on cleaning the location of the Dove House Recovery Cafe. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Recovery Cafe Coordinator Brian Richardson speaks with Maura Walsch on Friday, as they work on cleaning the location of the Dove House Recovery Cafe. (Zach Jablonski/Peninsula Daily News)

Recovery Cafe aims for fall opening

Dove House officials to file for city permits

PORT TOWNSEND — The Dove House Recovery Cafe is expected to open in September to provide help for recovering drug addicts.

Dove House Advocacy Services closed on the purchase of the building at 939 Kearney St., in July after entering into a purchase agreement in April.

Applications for remodeling permits are being filed this week, said Brian Richardson, program coordinator for the Jefferson County Recovery Cafe.

Originally, the Recovery Cafe was slated to open by Aug. 1, but due to renovations and permitting for the 60-year-old building, the earliest goal for opening has been pushed into September.

“Life gets in the way sometimes. We’re really grateful we’ve closed on the building,” Richardson said. “We’ve got to go through the process of remodeling it so it really is a safe, warm, drug- and alcohol-free space.

“We want to be open as soon as possible and the most likely thing will be September. That would be the earliest.”

Recovery Cafes were started in 2003 in Seattle. They expanded into a network of similar cafes in 2016; more than 12 now exist nationwide.

The Seattle program has been assisting Richardson in building the Jefferson County cafe program.

“What we provide is that safe sober community,” Richardson said.

The resources the cafe will provide are free coffee and meals, support groups called “Recovery Circles” and classes in the School of Recovery.

The Recovery Cafe is membership based. To be a member and receive services, a person is required to have been sober for 24 hours, attend one Recovery Circle a week, and contribute to the cafe in some way, such as busing tables or helping in the kitchen, Richardson said.

“Recovery Cafe is not treatment, it’s not an [Alcoholics Anonymous] meeting, or other 12-step meeting. It’s also not a drop-in center,” Richardson said.

The members can work together for recovery from addiction, mental illness, homelessness and trauma, Richardson said.

“Dove House has been seeking ways to further support our clients within the larger community,” said Beulah Kingsolver, Dove House executive director.

“When we learned about the Recovery Cafe Network, we found that we shared values of empowerment, self-determination and deep respect for everyone’s life journey.”

The building used to be a bakery before Dove House purchased it and so the kitchen already had a stove, commercial sink and other high-end appliances, which Richardson said saved Dove House thousands of dollars.

The location was also critical because it is near services that members possibly will be using as well, such as the Port Townsend Food Bank and bus routes, Richardson said.

The Recovery Cafe project received $45,000 from the Jefferson County 1/10th of 1 percent tax revenue set aside for mental health programs in January after requesting $158,000. The project also received a $50,000 matching grant, according to the Mental Health/Substance Abuse Advisory Committee of Jefferson County Public Health.

Dove House continues to raise funds.

Donations can be sent by check to Dove House at 1045 10th St., Port Townsend, with “Recovery Café” in the memo line.

A donation page on the Dove House website says that 13 people have donated $5,035 toward a $10,000 goal for a second matching grant. The website is at www.mightycause.com/story/Recoverycafejc.

The project also is building a volunteer base. Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions, from serving food and helping with marketing to acting as facilitators for the Recovery Circles and providing professional skills classes.

It will take at minimum four volunteers to run just the cafe portion, Richardson said.

Potential volunteers, or those with items or building materials to donate, are asked to contact Richardson at developmentrc@dovehousejc.org or 360-385-5292.

More information on specific cleaning events and a full list of services can be found at recoverycafejc.weebly.com.

________

Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at zjablonski@peninsuladailynews.com.

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