By Shawn Kirkpatrick
“Recovery is a journey, not a destination. It’s step by step, people by people, a good church, a businessman who hires you and gives you a chance, a family that helps.” That’s what Rick Hagans, pastor and founder of Harvest Evangelism, explained is part of the path to overcoming addiction.
His Place, Harvest Thrift Store and Hosanna Home in Lafayette are all under the cover of Harvest Evangelism. The His Place facility on 2nd Avenue and His Place Farm House help men recovering from addictions.
“A lot of (homeless) guys just come in and want the traditional ‘three hots and a cot.’ A bed, a shower, a couple of hot meals,” Hagans said. “They can stay up to 20 days, but we try to encourage them to be in the program component of His Place, which is a 12-month residential treatment recovery program for men with life control issues.”
Right now, His Place on 2nd Avenue isn’t housing any men. They are only using the kitchen and serving nearly 300 meals a day to the homeless and hungry. Hagans said he has to put in a sprinkler system before anyone can stay in the house.
“I am just waiting on money. We’ve only raised about half of the money needed for that,” Hagans said. “Once the upgrade is made, 20 to 25 men will be able to live in the house.”
Right now, the men are living and recovering on the 36 acre His Place Farm. The men take care of the house, along with chickens, cows and crops.
“Part of being an addict is poor use of your time. So they get up at 5:30, eat breakfast, do a devotion and do chores. Some days they work in the thrift store or at the farm. Some days they go to schools, churches and prisons to tell their stories,” Hagans said.
Hosanna Home is where women with addictions can recover and still have their children living with them.
“Right now we have 17 ladies and 11 children living at the home,” Hagans added. “The greatest thing we can do for a child is give them their mama back sober.”
Hagans said the budget to maintain 15 buildings, along with the meal, and other programs, costs more than $800,000 a year.
“The thrift store building alone is 65,000 square feet. In the hottest and coldest months the power bill (for everything) is $25,000,” Hagans added. “We always need more money. We just do the best we can.”
“I’m not a hero. I don’t like that. What I’ve learned is it’s not about 100 people, it’s not even about 10, it’s about the one in front of you today. That person, would you do it for them,“ Hagans said. “I like the old Robert Kennedy saying, some men look at things that are and wonder why. I would rather dream of things that aren’t, and wonder why not. I grew up in Opelika and saw the drugs and abuse, and I thought why, why can’t we do something.”
To donate to all the Harvest Evangelism programs visit harvestevangelism.org.