Recovery Cafe has a home

Posted 7/17/19

Dove House Advocacy Services’ purchase of the Candace’s Cookies building at 939 Kearney Street in Port Townsend is official, but that’s only the first of many steps toward a new Recovery Cafe for Jefferson County.

Organizers of the Recovery Cafe project held an open house on July 12 to showcase the renovation projects they hope to complete in order to open a “Recovery Cafe” by the fall of 2019.

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Recovery Cafe has a home

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Dove House Advocacy Services’ purchase of the Candace’s Cookies building at 939 Kearney Street in Port Townsend is official, but that’s only the first of many steps toward a new Recovery Cafe for Jefferson County.

Organizers of the Recovery Cafe project held an open house on July 12 to showcase the renovation projects they hope to complete in order to open a “Recovery Cafe” by the fall of 2019.

Taking advantage of the centrality of cafes to neighborhood life, a Recovery Cafe serves up services for substance abuse, homelessness, mental illness and trauma, building community and healing in a café-like setting.

Originally started in Seattle, Recovery Cafes are now popping up statewide as a model for treating substance abuse and addiction issues in communities, said David Uhl, director of the Recovery Cafe Network in Seattle.

It will take more than a new coffee maker and some comfy chairs to get going, though.

“Finally closing on the building was a huge sigh of relief,” said Dove House’s Recovery Cafe program manager Brian Richardson. “Then it sunk in. Ok, this is real now.”

But the overwhelming feeling of reality that struck when they bought the building has so far been matched by community support, Richardson said.

“We had 35 people come to our volunteer orientation,” he said. “People have been stepping up and donating money and building supplies.”

That includes the County Commission, which on Jan. 28 approved $45,000 from the Hargrove Fund to Dove House for mental health and substance abuse funding.

With a $50,000 matching grant from the Seattle-based Recovery Cafe Network, and donations from supporters, Dove House was able to raise the money to purchase the Kearney Street spot where community members long turned for the comfort of baked goods from Candace’s Cookies.

Dove House hopes to replace the ceiling and flooring of the 60-year-old building and install two ADA-compliant accessible bathrooms. The industrial kitchen Candace’s Cookies operated will remain, as organizers hope to provide free meals and coffee at the Recovery Cafe. The kitchen was the main draw of the building, Richardson said.

They are working with architect Jim Rozanski, located in Sequim, to draw up plans for the renovation. These will be submitted to the city of Port Townsend for permitting. Once that is complete, construction will begin. Richardson is hoping that the final designs and permitting will take about six weeks.

Dove House will be holding a volunteer-based cleaning, organizing and landscaping day on July 20 from 2 to 5 p.m., and plans to hold more clean-up days in the future.

Once permitting is complete, they will need more volunteers to help with the remodeling process, Richardson said. But so far, they have had no shortage of interest from the community.

“They call addiction a ‘family disease,’” he said. “I find issue with referring to it as a disease to begin with. But the truth is, most people have some kind of connection to addiction, whether it is themselves, relatives or friends.”

And at the Recovery Cafe, the supportive services are for recovery of all kinds: from drugs, alcohol, homelessness, gambling, or any kind of addiction.

All resources and services provided at Recovery Cafe Jefferson County will be free of charge, including a sober, safe, and clean space, meals, coffee, peer-led support groups called Recovery Circles, classes in the School for Recovery, social activities, volunteer opportunities, and referrals to community services.

To learn more about the cafe and to learn how to help, go to recoverycafejc.org.

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