RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) – Within the final 12 months, for these combating drug and alcohol dependancy, the pandemic solely helped gasoline an already raging epidemic on this state.
In Madison County, overdose calls are up 50 % from this time final 12 months, and the restoration group there may be working across the clock to attempt to save lives.
One couple needs to be part of the change by opening what they name a ‘soulful enterprise’ to assist get individuals in restoration again to work.
To essentially know somebody’s story, it is advisable attempt to stroll their path.
“It was 20 years in the past standing on this nook, we got here to those bars, that’s the life we lived at an early age ingesting at these bars,” mentioned Mike St. John.
Down the identical streets and return to the place it began.
“20 years in the past this was the place my dependancy and alcoholism began, right here we’re standing,” mentioned St. John.
If there may be anybody who is aware of the streets of Richmond, it’s Mike St. John. He has identified dependancy, homelessness and popping out on the opposite facet.
Now sober, this husband and father of two is strolling a a lot completely different path because of restoration.
“And at the moment God has allowed me to show my mess right here in Madison Co. right into a message of hope,” mentioned St. John.
A part of the message helps the group perceive the true scope of the drug drawback round them.
In Madison Co., drug overdoses and deaths have skyrocketed in 2021. A report by WKYT in April found, in speaking with the Madison Co. coroner, there had already been greater than 100 overdose calls and 28 drug-related deaths.
It’s one thing Richmond Officer Daniel Kirstein sees routinely.
“I hate to even guess, nevertheless it seems to be like we would double our drug overdose numbers this 12 months which is extraordinarily unlucky. The homeless quantity continues to rise and it’s staggering for our group, its staggering as an officer, its staggering for my co-workers,” mentioned Daniel Kirstein.
And it’s working the streets of Richmond that Officer Kirstein has spent lots of time speaking and listening to individuals combating dependancy. His query to them, how he will be part of the answer?
“Probably the most constant reply that I received was, ‘Dan, it’s not rehab, I can do rehab. I’ve accomplished rehab.’ One feminine even informed me she had accomplished rehab 17 occasions, it’s the after,” mentioned Kirstein.
In a county the place the dependancy restoration group is tough at work, coupled with a rising variety of job openings Kirstein and his spouse India say they’ve been known as to hitch the trouble to assist.
“We had been impressed truthfully by a person that we don’t know on Fb who shared about his struggles with constant employment and the way it had led to homelessness,” mentioned India Kirstein.
India and Daniel are beginning EnRich, a nonprofit geared toward offering significant employment by opening a restaurant.
“We’re concentrating not on income, however on the soulful funding we are able to make again into our group. So, we began taking a look at what that may appear like,” mentioned Dan Kirstein.
They need to make use of individuals deemed by some within the workforce group as too troublesome to make use of, individuals with different resumes. Individuals who could be homeless, in lively restoration or simply launched from jail.
“We need to take away as a lot of these obstacles as attainable, that’s our aim. Transportation, hygiene, showers, clear garments hours that work round NA and AA assembly schedules,” mentioned Kirstein.
The restaurant is a do-it-yourself pancake place the place you repair your personal meals on the desk. Prospects aren’t served straight by staff which is by design.
The aim is to supply a second probability by employment, whereas additionally serving to put a face to restoration for his or her patrons.
“We wish our staff to have as a lot interplay with the general public as attainable, put names and faces and tales to those numbers. We now have these terribly staggering overdose charges now and we would like individuals to see faces and know tales,” mentioned India Kirstein.
Mike St. John might have simply been a type of numbers.
“We’re displaying that individuals can change,” mentioned Mike St. John.
There was a time he thought the streets of Richmond would swallow him up. He’s now becoming a member of forces with EnRich, hoping to get others off the streets and again to work, a full-circle second in his personal street to restoration.
“We now have received to have restoration on this city, God is transferring in Madison County,” mentioned Mike St. John.
EnRich is presently elevating cash for its brick-and-mortar location. You can help by joining them on June 5 for an event at Canaan Acres Farm, for music and meals beginning at 5.
Copyright 2021 WKYT. All rights reserved.