The group is currently seeking candidates for an executive director to run the nonprofit and the entire operation, ideally someone with nonprofit experience. The group also is looking for other area businesses that would like to lease space in the building and offer internships and apprenticeships. They have already hired a director of the school.
In addition to the trade school, there will be programs aimed at helping men and women in addiction recovery, vulnerable youth who are at-risk and young adults leaving foster care.
Morris said the group hopes to be in the building no later than the first week of June.
“We are all in long-term recovery ourselves, and have a heart for helping people coming out of that lifestyle. Because we’ve all been blessed in our businesses and had success helping people in need, we decided to try to do this on a much larger scale, to help as many people as possible,” Morris said.
Morris said his company is a “second chance company.” About half of his employees are in long-term recovery from addiction. His partners’ companies also employ a lot of people in recovery.
“Hope is a big part of the recovery equation, and there is hope that comes with having a good job,” Morris said.
In addition to schooling in plumbing, roofing and HVAC work, with real-world work experience in those fields, the property will have a men’s recovery center and a women’s recovery center that will include separate temporary housing.
His Hope Adult & Teen Challenge, a faith-based men’s residential recovery program operated by Rusty Toadvine, will run the men’s program. Cynthia Stemple and Melissa Adams will be in charge of the women’s program, which is a new program called Hope Hub.
The Hope Hub looks to provide additional educational opportunities for people in recovery, helping women develop and maintain healthy behavior patterns, learning things like self-care and financial literacy.
Area businesses interested in joining the endeavor will be offered low-cost rent, discounted business services and paid and unpaid internships performed by the people completing the onsite recovery and foster care emancipation programs. Morris said he has already gotten interest from several local businesses interested in renting space and getting interns, like a fire suppression business and a business training police dogs. These businesses are not required to hire people from the program, but are expected to give internship or apprenticeship opportunities.
The group said it also plans to offer a wide range of business development and growth tools that will help new or pre-existing entrepreneurs expand their business or non-profit.
Those interested in the executive director position or businesses interested in joining the group can reach out via the Emerge Recovery and Trades Initiative website.
“Without God’s help, none of this would be possible,” Morris said. “Although we are taking a financial risk, we decided it would be worth it. There is a high potential that we could end up helping a lot of people out.”