A nonprofit organization in Hastings, Nebraska recently opened a sports thrift store to supplement its drug addiction recovery programs.
The Revive Sports Thrift Store is overseen by Revive Ministries, which also operates the Horizon Treatment and Recovery Center as well as the Hastings Unity Houses, a sober living program.
Revive Ministries was founded 2007 and acquired Horizon and the Unity Houses from the previous owner in 2018. Plans to offer a thrift store for people in recovery began around 10 years ago.
“One of the goals back then was to have a thrift store for sports equipment,” said Dan Rutt, the director of Revive Ministries. “We have a pretty large group of people that we try to do community things together. One of the things that we’re planning on is to maybe go to the lake for a weekend, go camping and water skiing. The thrift store is going to allow us to have all those things.”
The store’s equipment was donated by local community members. Rutt estimates that since the store opened in March, about 1,600 items have been received.
While patients are in the treatment or sober living programs, they are required to seek employment. If they are not working within two weeks, they are asked to volunteer four hours per day either with the thrift store or another community organization.
“There’s three reasons why we ask people to go volunteer,” Rutt said. “If you do something good for someone else it makes you feel good. Second thing is if you’re going out somewhere else to volunteer, you’re probably going to meet someone you didn’t know before. You’re going to build a relationship. The third thing is that person you meet may know where there’s a job and be willing to be a reference for you to get that job.”
While Revive Ministries doesn’t offer services for co-occurring mental health disorders, it coordinates with treatment centers in Lincoln, Grand Island and O’Neill. It also receives referrals for patients on probation or parole.
When patients enter Revive Ministries’s Unity House Program, they sign a six-month commitment. The houses are located off-site from the treatment center and can accommodate 31 patients at a time. They are run by house managers, who are program participants with shown leadership capabilities.
During their stay in the Unity Houses, adult and youth patients in drug addiction recovery receive intensive outpatient or aftercare services from the Horizon Treatment and Recovery Center. Patients are also required to attend a Resiliency Program where they learn life skills as well as other group activities and counseling sessions.
Revive Ministries offer an optional Christian 12-step program for 26 weeks, which has helped about 95 percent of patients remain sober, Rutt stated.
Rutt added that approximately 60 percent of Revive Ministries’ budget comes from donations. The team decides how to use the funds to assist each patient with treatment and residential costs.
Even with its treatment successes, Rutt feels that there’s always room to improve services.
“We’re working with people’s lives,” he said. “I believe we do a fairly good job but I think we can do better. We get stuck sometimes with predicting how someone should do. We need to meet them where they’re at, not where we think they should be. I think that’s a cultural thing, not just us.”
Last year, the Unity Houses provided lodgings for 73 people and 19 drug addiction recovery patients graduated both Revive Ministries’ treatment and housing programs, Rutt stated.
Many graduates return to serve as mentors to current patients.
“Our staff is like a family,” he said. “We care about each other and we try to treat our clients like that. What brings us the most joy is when someone goes through our program, completes it and stays in touch with us.”