PORT TOWNSEND — Structural renovations to the Dove House Recovery Cafe are set to begin Monday, and organizers are seeking volunteers.
Recovery Cafe program manager Brian Richardson received the permits to start the construction Tuesday, and the team was reviewing the blueprints together Friday.
Originally, the Recovery Cafe was slated to open by Aug. 1, but due to renovations, paperwork and permitting for the 60-year-old building, the earliest goal for opening had been pushed into September, and now it is expected around March, Richardson said.
“These things take longer than they’re expected to,” Richardson said. “We’ve had to push that date back. We didn’t want to, but it’s the reality of the situation.”
“The more volunteers we have, the quicker it will go.”
Through November, 443.5 volunteer hours have been put toward cleaning and minor renovations that could be done without permits. That number doesn’t include the December volunteer hours, Richardson said.
“We have a really dedicated group of people who show up to everything,” Richardson said.
Dove House Advocacy Services purchased the building at 939 Kearney St. outright in July for $300,000, from money raised through grants and reserve funds, Richardson said.
Since Dove House paid for the building outright, the Recovery Cafe has no mortgage payment, Richardson said.
Richardson expects to spend $150,000 to complete the renovations to the building, which includes expanding the main dining hall and redoing the back areas to accommodate a meeting space, as well as other upgrades.
So far, Dove House has raised $100,000 through fundraisers.
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.
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.
Richardson and the Dove House want the space to be inclusive and comfortable to encourage people to seek treatment.
“We believe everyone deserves a place they are valued and they belong and we’re not going to budge on that,” Richardson said.
Richardson needs more volunteers for Monday’s renovations. Those interested can sign up for a volunteer time at https://www.recoverycafejc.org/.
Donations can be sent by check to Dove House at 1045 10th St., Port Townsend, with “Recovery Café” in the memo line or by going to https://www.givejefferson.org/ and donating to Dove House.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at email@example.com