Homeless & Recovery Resource Center Coming to Baxter This Winter
A homeless and recovery resource center is coming to Baxter this winter and is now weeks away from its grand opening.
After Lighthouse Beginnings received approval for a zoning amendment and conditional use permit request from the Baxter City Council back in October, the organization – with the help of Diversion Solutions, a group that allows offenders of criminal law avoid charges or a criminal record through accountability and restitution – is preparing to have the Open Arms Community Center ready for anyone in the community that needs it.
The city noted that the center would provide a supportive, sober, safe environment that will assist individuals with putting their lives back together and to provide the resources needed to do that. It’s something that Lighthouse Beginnings Executive Director Jesse Jones is driven to supply the community with.
“It speaks volumes. Like I say, I’m definitely not in it to get rich, right? I just, my heart is for the people,” said Jones. “My heart is to say, ‘Look, if someone like me can make it out, so can you.’ And when I say someone like me, I mean someone like us, because I’m still just like them. Right? I’m just a little bit further along in the process. I just clinged on to the help and I just clinged on to the resources. And so I just want to be able to say, ‘Hey, I did it. My staff has done it. So can you.'”
Lighthouse Beginnings points to the gaps in recovery support statewide and a mission to assist and empower individuals who face roadblocks in the process. The thought is, who better to do that than a staff filled with people who’ve fought the same fight?
“You can expect a safe place. You can expect no judgment, no expectations of, you know, what you’re going to participate in. But we will make available to anybody anger management, parenting. There’ll be some groups for – NA groups, AA groups, smart recovery groups, Bible studies if that’s what somebody’s into. There will also be sex trafficking groups, trauma-informed groups, just a wide variety of different types of groups and classes.”
The Open Arms Community Center’s official grand opening is Jan. 2, but residents from the Baxter homeless shelter will begin filing into the center on Dec. 11, just in time to evade some of the Minnesota winter.
“It is so important, I can tell you. So, I’m a social worker and I worked in the Crow Wing County community for about 10 years, and it was a gap that has always been here.” “We would, we couldn’t find the resources that could just be provided in one place. So this is definitely going to fill the needs that are out there.”
“We’ll be able to provide them with all sorts of different resources and support that they couldn’t get before, it’ll give them a safe place to go that’s trauma informed, or they can just kind of walk in the door and we’ll see what’s going on and see if we can do to help them. So it’s really important for this community.”
For more information on the Open Arms Community Center, you can reach Jesse Jones by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.