Nonprofit of the Month: Recovery Café Hamilton County

Writer / Renee Larr
Photography Provided

Sometimes, the word recovery brings to mind addiction issues, but one local nonprofit is trying to change the stigma. “Everyone is recovering from something” is the motto of Recovery Café Hamilton County. The community center provides a safe place for people who are having a difficult time.

“The cafe is here for anyone struggling with a divorce, mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence or substance abuse issues,” says Joylynn Foli, executive director. “It’s a place for people to connect with others who are also struggling. We’re welcoming and open to anyone.”

Recovery Café started in Seattle in 2002, and since then there have been 60 cafes across the U.S., with 20 in Indiana alone. The cafe provides warm meals, coffee and connection during open hours. They also offer food pantry items to anyone in need.

“Right now we’re finishing our kitchen where we will make meals, but we’ve been relying on the community’s kindness to donate meals,” Foli says. “We recently received a grant for $10,000 from the City of Fishers, which is going toward our kitchen renovations. We were extremely excited and grateful for the grant.”

New members must be drug free and alcohol free for 24 hours, so as not to trigger other members. They must also attend a weekly recovery circle led by peer recovery coaches, during which they discuss challenges they face, goals to work toward, and things for which they are grateful.

“Initially, members might take out the trash or wipe down the tables,” Foli says. “Then they take on more volunteer opportunities such as leading a recovery circle, a companion in the space for others, or taking ownership of different programs. They end up becoming community leaders, which is incredible to watch.”

As a nonprofit, Recovery Café relies on the assistance of the local community to help support its mission. Foli says the team always seeks monetary and in-kind donations, volunteers and community partnerships.

“We are a resource hub for many members,” Foli says. “We provide a warm handoff to any additional resources they may need as they recover.”

With the holiday season approaching, people may struggle with emotional triggers due to unresolved family issues, loneliness and distress. Foli says the opposite of addiction is connection.

“We encourage people to find a place to unload their burdens,” Foli says. “Other tips to make it through the holiday season include sticking to a routine, making time for self-care and utilizing the many resources offered in Hamilton County.”

Foli says it’s important to remember that it’s powerful and courageous to seek help. She says there is often a stigma around mental health or addiction issues, which can prevent people from receiving the help they need.

“We want to normalize seeking help, and don’t want anyone hiding in the shadows suffering,” Foli says.

Recovery Café Hamilton County is located at 7050 East 116th Street, Suite 100 in Fishers. For more information, call 317-620-1875 or visit recoverycafehc.com.

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