1. Give me a brief history of your company.
Started in 2014, Safehouse has focused on reaching the needs of a variety of disadvantaged communities in North Lafayette. What began as an outreach to provide meals for low resource neighborhoods has expanded to include administering a chapter of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step recovery program; using a mobile hot dog cart to feed the homeless of downtown Lafayette; outfitting visitation rooms for children in foster care; and providing resources and supplies to area treatment centers and shelters. These programs have regularly fed 225 people per month, and 300 unique individuals participate in Celebrate Recovery’s 12-step program each year. After seeing the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol on area families, Safehouse decided to launch its first sober living home, which is currently scheduled to open in February 2021. The Safehouse Sober Living mission is to provide a safe home for those in recovery to process their experiences, give its residents the opportunity to build healthy peer and community relationships, and help them gain the tools necessary to become productive citizens.
2. What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
Safehouse is made up of a diverse group of people, each with the same goal of making a difference in the world by making a difference in our immediate community. At Safehouse, people aren’t judged by their past failures; they are given encouragement and the tools to put their best foot forward. We are all messy, we all have struggles, and we all need a place to belong. Safehouse is that place where everyone belongs.
3. What are you most proud of?
We are most proud of the lives we’ve seen changed through the relationships we’ve built with the Lafayette Parish jails and local treatment centers. Nothing makes us happier than to see other people achieving their dreams. We have seen over 300 people come through Safehouse’s Celebrate Recovery program alone, and the impact of each of those changed lives reaches even further into the community to spread kindness and hope.
4. Where do you see your business in 10 years? What are your plans for the future?
Safehouse’s goal has from the start been to meet the needs of our immediate community. Hopefully, we are so successful that the organization becomes obsolete. Until then, Safehouse plans to focus on its sober living outreach. Over the next 10 years, Safehouse plans to open 10 low-cost transitional sober living houses in the area and will work toward refining and growing the S.A.F.E. framework around which our program is built. The S.A.F.E method used for residents encourages a holistic approach to substance use disorder recovery and offers support in the following areas:
Sobriety- free from influence of drugs/alcohol (in 10 years, have the ability to offer clinical treatment and assistance with mental health)
Activism- restore an individual’s sense of value through social acts of service (in 10 years, be a leader in service to the community)
Financial Health- find gainful employment and fiscal responsibility (in 10 years, have a successful company that can hire and train Safehouse members in a skilled trade)
Education- obtain a GED or equivalent or other credentials necessary to improve career pathways (in 10 years, operate a school for elementary age kids through high school, maintain a trade school for secondary education and offer scholarships to students for their school of choice)
5. 1A is making an impact as we take an active role in improving the community we live in. Our members are making an impact, too! – What does impact mean to you? How is your company making an impact?
An impact is the measure of our actions and how they benefit the society we are in.
At Safehouse, we have found the best way to do that is to draw a 3-mile radius and ask ourselves, “How can we meet the needs of the people in our surrounding neighborhoods?” We are making an impact by coming alongside people and stepping into their hurts, habits, and hang-ups, and we are committed to going through that journey with them. We measure success by adding value to individuals and restoring connections within the community.