Founder shares Hope Recovery Center vision

Ridgecrest police chief says this area needs help

Ann Cousineau

Founder shares Hope Recovery Center visionAs local volunteers started gearing up for “Love & Hope,” Friday night’s fundraiser for the Hope Recovery Center, Founder and President Shawn Kelly shared his vision.

Believing every community has people with hurts, habits and addictions and needs a Hope Recovery Center, Kelly, 41, opened a Corona site with his wife Stacey in March 2011. “We’ve had more than 125 people come through our fulltime outpatient program in Corona.

“Many more people in recovery have participated in our one-on-one counseling, evening small groups and training workshops and classes. The Ridgecrest center will be a second location solidly linked to our Corona center, under the same nonprofit 501c umbrella,” he said in a recent phone interview.

“I do not want the center to be about me, It has to be about life changing. There are plenty of amazing people already involved with the Ridgecrest center’s development.”

“I fully support the Hope Center’s efforts to open a facility in Ridgecrest,” said Ridgecrest Police Chief Ronald Strand. “As we all know drug addiction is a growing concern in our valley and affects all walks of life. Currently we have very little, if any, help available for those suffering from drug addiction. My hope is that the Hope Center will help provide a much-needed service to our community,”

During his battle with alcohol and prescription drug addiction, Kelly suffered two cardiac arrests and one heart attack on one day. That day became a title of his recently released book, “My Black Friday,” which is subtitled “How I died twice to find hope.”

Kelly’s moving story of restoration and recovery conveys his message to all ages in a way that encourages and inspires people to set goals and be who they are meant to be.

He said he was extremely blessed to be saved from a life of destruction, addiction and hopelessness. Now he is focused on giving back through his perseverance, radical obedience and faith to bring awareness and education to people so they can change their lives.

These days, Kelly specializes in helping people find hope and purpose in their life. He wants to share his awareness, education and experience by surrounding himself with healthier people, replacing bad habits with healthier new ones and serving others.

He said he was able to overcome his past hurts and help others do the same by empowering them toward a future that keeps them from repeating the cycle.

“In Corona, we have a solid curriculum, technology and activities. We have three paid staff in Corona and throughout the months we have more than 100 volunteers helping with various events. I anticipate about the same in Ridgecrest, three to five paid staff depending on funding,” he said.

After completing pastoral studies and training, Kelly is also known today as “Pastor Shawn.” The faith-based nature of the center does not limit who may participate in its programs. “People do not have to belong to a church to come to Hope,” Kelly said. “In meetings, we do share what saved us, and our testimonies and mission statements are a foundation. It’s only through God that I’m saved, but no one is forcing anyone [into a specific faith]… You can come and go as you please.”

Although Ridgecrest’s Hope Recovery Center is not officially open, about 30 people gathered at the site on Feb. 1 for HRC’s first small group meeting in Ridgecrest. The group is similar to the very first such meeting that planted the seeds for Hope Recovery Centers back in 2009. The next meeting will be on Friday, March 1, 7-8:30 p.m. at the center on the corner of North Norma and West Wilson Streets.

Hope Recovery Center Inc. is a nonprofit organization that gives clients and their families a free faith-based, customized treatment plan for individuals wanting to break the cycle of hurts, habits and addictions.

Hope Recovery works toward providing life skills development, educational and vocational training and mentorship to help them toward a future that keeps them from repeating the cycle.

For more information about Hope Recovery Centers, call 951-603-0031 or see www.hopere

Story First Published: 2013-02-13