Ministry gives recovering addicts another chance

Ministry gives recovering addicts another chance

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FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) -- One year ago, a pastor and his family packed a U-Haul, moved to Fargo, and starting giving second chances.

It began as Redemption Road Ministries saw a huge number of men struggling with addiction who had nowhere to turn. And what started as one halfway house in Fargo has turned into seven - and they're planning for more.

Pastor David Vernoy owns those houses where men can go after getting out of jail or treatment: Several in Fargo and two in Jamestown.

"We really got incarceration down really good,” Vernoy said. “And we really got treatment down really good. One of the pieces that are missing is the transitional process."

It's giving men boundaries, expectations and a fighting chance to transition back into the community.

"I am myself a recovering drug addict, and I was Skid Row.” Vernoy said. “If you saw me walking down the street, you knew exactly what I was: I was a drug addict."

If recovering addicts don't get this type of opportunity, he said they often will go back to what they know.

The very first resident was Shawn Hansen. He recently passed away due to an overdose.

"Shawn actually did the floor here, he sanded that.” Vernoy said, while looking down at the ground.

"In the recovery program, we have this saying that some of us need to die so others can live. And I used to say that, but I didn't have any life experience. And once that life experience hit me, I really understood," Vernoy said.

Vernoy began this journey after his own mother passed away of a heroin overdose.

Addiction is a problem he says isn't going to go away, but says ministries like Redemption Road are a start.

"If an addict like me can do this, anyone can do this,” Vernoy explained. “Because I was bad."

August 6 will be the one year anniversary of Redemption Road Ministries. Pastor Vernoy said everyone is welcome to their celebration that day.

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