Towards the end of 2018, the Salvation Army Men’s Treatment House on 9th and Grand caught on fire. After, the owner put the house on the market where a former graduate of the program, Dan Forman, tried to buy the house in January.
It didn’t work out at first, but six months later in August, he was able to officially buy it. It’s a special place to Forman because that’s where he became sober after 28 years of battling with alcohol.
Now, just like him, he wants to give other people a second chance, and turn the house into a Sober Living Facility called the ‘Cleo Oxford House.’
“There’s not that much around here [Grand Junction] for people that are trying to stay sober,” Forman said. “It’s the craving that kills you. That’s why I’m able to say I’m a recovered alcoholic because the craving is gone. I’ve seen it here in this town. There’s definitely a need for it.”
Being sober for over 16 years now, Forman knows what kind of plan he wants to establish after he’s done remodeling the house, because he knows how hard it can be to become sober.
“Near impossible,” Forman replied. “There are some programs that are probably out there that do 30-60 days. But, you can’t get sober in 30-60 days, I don’t care what anybody says. It’s got to be a six month program, and it has to be a program that has history.”
A new house with a new program might not sound like it has history, but the history starts with the people who are putting it together. Forman is the owner of High Altitude Construction and every one of his workers that are remodeling the house are recovering from addiction and staying sober.
“This is probably the most exciting job that we’ve done,” one of the workers Erik Borrell said. “It helps me by giving back. I know how much my life has changed since I’ve had sustained recovery, and I want others to have that same opportunity and same chance.”
“I think everyone deserves a second chance,” Forman added. “The guys that are working here, they know that they can come here and it’s a sober living facility. There’s no alcohol, no drugs on any of my jobs.”
“We want to be able to have a place to send somebody coming straight out of jail, maybe they’re not able to afford the program, but they have a safe place to go.” Borrell said.
A perfect example would be Thomas Schmidt who has been sober for two years and has been working for High Altitude Construction for two weeks now.
“I had a little jail sentence that I had to take care of,” Schmidt said. “I met a gentleman there who actually pointed me to this crew. Somebody gave me a chance, I had a lot of breaks in life and for the first time I get to give someone else a break. Means a lot to me to be here and to be a part of this. It’s a worthwhile thing for the community.”
Now a house is getting a second chance so it can give a second chance to other people who are looking for one.
The house will have eight rooms, five bathrooms, and some room for office space. The crew hopes to be done remodeling the house at the end of the year, but will still need to furnish it.
If you would like to donate any furniture and/or household items (beds, dressers, kitchenware, linens, etc.) you can contact Erik Borrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.