New Woodworking Shop and Facility Repairs for RLMO
Provide safe space where men get free from addiction and learn to be family and community leaders.
Drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury death in the US. Half the youth taken into DCS custody results from parental drug use. In Tennessee, drug-related crimes increased by 33% in the last decade, affecting local businesses and thus all consumers. This epidemic substance abuse creates extreme strain to otherwise thriving communities like ours. There is no shortage of short-term treatment centers, but these 30 to 90-day programs treat primarily the symptoms of addiction, requiring little beyond daily group counseling; after-care is nearly non-existent and relapse is likely when those struggling return home to old patterns, without job skills. Treatment is out of the question for those who cannot afford it, and state-funded services for those below the poverty line would burden Tenn. taxpayers with millions in annual expenses. But at RLMO, we've found a better way forward and are ready to grow, including an on-site wood shop to provide jobs for the men we serve.
RLMO invests deeply in the long-term recovery of men in our 12-month program, while they work and use their income to pay back debts and to save for solid futures. Our organization has spent the last 24 years honing best practices to serve the men in our care in middle Tennessee. We own our facility, debt-free, and operate on a modest budget. With this grant, RLMO will complete a number of repairs to our current residence, including roof and plumbing maintenance. We will also finish building and stocking a woodworking shop on our property; here, with the help of volunteers at the ready, our program participants will learn valuable skills in basic use of tools and will build wooden furniture to be sold to support program expenses. These men develop a sense of pride in investing in their own recovery costs, and pay it forward for those yet to receive help. This self-sustaining source of income is the next step for RLMO as we expand to serve even more in our growing community.
An investment in RLMO's program offerings and facility means impact for generations to come. No one is turned away from our program due to the inability to pay. Fighting addiction in middle Tennessee means a positive impact on the deeper issues in our neighborhoods: homelessness, poverty, crime. We not only treat addictions, but address the root causes: identity issues that lead to destructive self-medication. When we transform men through a message of hope, and equip them with the life skills and confidence to find a better way to live, they return to their communities to become leaders and shining examples. We believe in our model for lasting recovery, and as we invest in a safe, functional facility and occupational skills training, we ensure that this special place and its graduates will continue to thrive.