Restoration Ranch is one of few places in South Central Iowa people can go when they’ve hit rock bottom. Now, thanks to generous grants from several organizations in the community, the charity has a facility capable of housing six residents at a time as they work toward reclaiming their independence.
The public is invited to a ribbon cutting and open house 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the shelter located at 2746 Kansas Street.
“Right now we can house up to six men, providing long-term housing that gives them the opportunity for a true life change,” said Restoration Ranch Board Vice President Kim White. “They might be struggling with drugs, alcohol, a family situation, abuse, homelessness, whatever.”
The program, started by Brad and Michelle Davis in May 2011, has helped 20 men get on their feet through the years, long before there was a shelter in place to help with transitions.
“A lot of the bases we have even now is what was learned along the way,” said White. “They’ve had some not so great situations, but some overwhelming successes too.”
A key component to the program is religious participation, which sometimes is an obstacle for potential residents.
“We found out it works much better if faith is one of the components,” said White. “We ask that they get involved in church. It doesn’t have to be a church we specify.”
However, there are options for those who want to remain religion free.
“We just need to know in advance. It’s important to be clear upfront,” she said, noting the group works with secular providers in some situations, for instance, in offering residents mental health and addiction counseling.
Participants coming from bad situations have a hard road ahead of them, said White, and they need services like Restoration Ranch to make the most of their efforts.
“When they come out of rehab, or even out of jail, where do they have to go? If they go right back to their old friends or old hang outs it’s not long before they’re back to what got them into trouble to begin with,” said White. “A young man just left that came to us from jail. He was with us for about five months. He just got his HiSET. Now he’s in his own apartment.”
Saturday, the group will be thanking the Clarke County Development Corporation, South Central Iowa Community Foundation, Clarke County Hospital and others during their open house. Through combined community efforts, Restoration Ranch was able to secure the shelter and make the necessary upgrades to make it a safe and comfortable environment.
“We’ve had a new sewer system for the property, electric, everything,” said White. “It’s finished, and it’s beautiful.”