STATESBORO - A small crowd gathered Tuesday night in Statesboro to welcome the staff of an Alabama-based drug and alcohol recovery center called The Foundry and to learn more about the possibility of a similar program coming to Claxton.
Brandon Williams, pastor of Connections Church in Statesboro, was host to the group that traveled from Alabama to paint a better picture of what The Foundry is and what it does.
Williams said the faith-based organization located in Bessemer, Ala., is the model he would like to follow in the effort to begin a similar center in Claxton.
Representing The Foundry were its director, Pastor Bill Heintz, Micah Andrews, senior program director and David Pendley, men's program director.
A foundry is a place where discarded materials are declared useless, Heintz said. Then this material is sent to a place where it goes through a process of cleansing, purifying, remolding, polishing and making anew. The organization's name reflects what it does for people with addiction problems, he said.
Within the organization, there exist various facets of rescue and recovery. The Foundry's major focus, Andrews said is the 12-month residential program for men and women, who go through four phases of recovery during their stay.
"We started with eight people, and now, we house 250-300 men and women," Heintz said, referring to the program's humble beginning nearly 15 years ago.
Heinz stressed that The Foundry is not a medical treatment center but a faith-based recovery center, meaning they do not have a medical approach to overcoming addiction but a Christ-centered one, he said.
At a cost of $595, a person can enter the residential program where he or she is provided meals and housing for a year. During the year, Pendley said it is his job to instill in them vision, discipline, and structure. A work-therapy program reinstates the discipline of working and making a living, Andrews said.
The Foundry has its own businesses where workers are placed, whether it be in the thrift store, an automobile repair shop, or another job that simply gives back to the community. For example, Heintz said they recently remodeled a local football stadium at only the cost of materials. They completed the $75,000 job for $15,000, he said.
"It is amazing to see the therapy our residents receive in doing good for others," Heintz said.
Andrews said that aside from the main recovery program, The Foundry also offers a six-month re-entry program that helps men transition from a correctional facility back into a healthy lifestyle after being paroled or completing a sentence.
The third tier of the organization is their rescue mission, where temporary residence is offered, along with meals and clothing through their thrift store and partnering with organizations like American Red Cross, Andrews said.
Heintz offered to help facilitate in any way possible with Williams' undertaking in Claxton.
Brandon Blair, co-owner of 180 Fitness in Statesboro, has already made available a building he owns in Claxton, but the building needs some renovation. It will take a lot of effort to get this off the ground and to keep it going, Heintz said, as he encouraged the community to get involved, show their support, and make the project a group effort.
He said that a leader is nothing without good people working with him.