CHICAGO (CBS) — Only on 2 – a remarkable discovery in the far south suburbs.
At a thrift store.
It brings in two million dollars a year.
And that money is helping people get off drugs. So how is it all happening?
CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos went there to check it out.
It looks like a typical thrift store.
“You never know what’s going to come in. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt,” Elizabeth Roldan, the store’s general manager. “You see how you can take things and make them beautiful and make them presentable.”
She runs Restoration Ministries. It’s a thrift store in South Holland. There’s one in Harvey too.
They rake in two million dollars in sales each year.
“All the proceeds from the thrift store help fund this part of the ministry,” said Ray Banks, Vice President of Residential Programs at Restoration Ministries.
The Harvey House is just down the street.
“It only takes a couple weeks to get hooked on drugs, but it’s a journey trying to get off them,” Banks said.
Recovering heroin addicts live there for 12 to 18 months. They work and learn. They work on their bodies and minds. They explore, get life skills, job training and GED programs.
“Thirty years ago, I came in. I was addicted to heroin and cocaine,” Banks said. “I thank god for the people that donate to Restoration Ministries. Because if it wasn’t for people willing to give us a hand up, I don’t know where I would be. I don’t know where my kids would be.”
He’s not the only employee grateful for a second chance.
“I suffered for over 30 years from addiction. My original addiction was heroin and cocaine,” Roldan said.
She went through the drug rehabilitation program. She got clean and she knows that, just like the stuff in her store…
“Restoration Ministries gives second chances, and third chances,” Roldan said. “If you want to change your life and you want things to be different, this is the place to come.”
Around 1,700 people have come through the doors of the program over the last 10 years. When they leave, they’re not just clean from drugs. They have a driver’s license, a bank account, a job and place to live.
And many of them are reconnected with their families.
For more on the recovery programs and the thrift stores, click here for information on Restoration Ministries.