Fighting addiction, local nonprofit wants to build Recovery Cafe

MEDFORD, Ore.– Cafe’s can be a great gathering place and way for people to connect. Now, one local nonprofit wants to help people struggling with addiction by bringing a specific cafe to the valley.

It’s called Recovery Cafe and what originally started in Seattle is now making its way across the country. The Medford nonprofit, Reclaiming Lives, has signed up to become a part of the Recovery Cafe Network with the plan to build a cafe within Medford.

These cafe’s act as a refuge for people suffering from a variety of addictions to come and connect with others for support and receive help.

“Some folks are just so desperate in their addiction that they haven’t felt that for a long time,” said Stephanie Mendenhall, executive director for Reclaiming Lives. “So it’s really about providing hope and a place where people can succeed and we’ll celebrate as they do that.”

It’s definitely not your typical coffee shop or the typical rehabilitation center. Mendenhall says the cafe is not meant to be a program nor a treatment but a gathering place for people to meet and share their stories.

The ultimate goal being individuals build a support group that can encourage them and strengthen relations between people who share a common purpose.

“It doesn’t feel clinical or like a place where you might be judged or where you have to deal a lot with your problems necessarily,” said Mendenhall. “It’s really about looking forward into your life and what’s next for you and really having the support to rebuild everything that you’ve lost.”

Plans are still in development but the nonprofit hopes to open the cafe by the end of the year.

This would be the first Recovery Cafe to open in the state.

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