Since 2014, Redemption Road Ministries has been helping local people struggling with drug addiction by addressing recovery, life skills, and transitional housing needs.
Redemption Road founder and ministry director Pastor David Vernoy will speak at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, February 13.
Vernoy moved his family to Fargo a little over four years ago with the intention of helping some addicts enter recovery. As he puts it, Redemption Road started with two men in a motel room in Jamestown. Vernoy moved them out of the motel and into a house, then moved two more men in. Eventually, Vernoy found an empty house and asked the landlord if he could remodel it and start a ministry for people in recovery. The first group of people moved into that renovated house in January four years ago.
“When it first started, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing because the need was just so big,” Vernoy said.
Later, Vernoy was able to purchase a second house next door to the first, and Redemption Road’s work has continued to expand, now encompassing 45 beds in the state of North Dakota. Transitional housing is one of the biggest needs for those in recovery or entering recovery.
Vernoy described Redemption Road’s ethos as built upon four pillars: housing, employment, recovery, and service.
“You’ve got to get them in a safe bed,” Vernoy said, “and you’ve got to teach them life skills and let them know they no longer have to use their survival skills.”
Regarding recovery, Redemption partners with churches and twelve-step programs. They also emphasize the importance of giving back to the community during and after time spent at Redemption Road.
“We have a holistic approach to recovery—that’ mind body and spirit,” Vernoy said.
Vernoy is a recovering addict himself. He was released from prison 19 years ago this March. While he worked in various roles helping out with recovery programs in the intervening years, Redemption Road is the first time he’s taken the lead in establishing in a program.
Establishing permanent housing for people who are ready to move on from Redemption Road is one of the key challenges of helping people recover. Sometimes folks on Redemption Road will be ready to move on, but there won’t be housing options available to them.
“The stars have to be aligned,” Vernoy said.
He noted they still have to turn people away despite now having 45 beds available.
While permanent housing is sometimes difficult to acquire, Redemption Road has produced a number of success stories.
“We’ve had multiple women leave, get their own place, and get reacclimated to their kids and their family,” Vernoy said. He also noted many people are able to complete parole while working with Redemption Road; they are able to leave fully free.
1 Million Cups Fargo takes place each Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park. For more information on Redemption Road Ministries, visit www.redemptionroadministries.org.