In a community that prides itself on helping others, advocates say acceptance goes a long way in recovery. Two Johnson-based organizations came together to help people struggling with substance use disorders. Jenna’s Promise and Two Sons Bakehouse opened Jenna’s Coffee House, a place where people in recovery can live, and work.
The new coffee house lies on Lower Main Street in Johnson. It’s an extension of the addiction recovery program Jenna’s Promise offers. Stage one of the program is more intensive; stage two is when people move in above the coffee house to feel more independent. People who live there receive addiction treatment, while also working at the coffee house.
Greg Tatro says it’s important to help people in recovery get back into society. He remembers a time when Jenna, his late daughter, was doing well in her recovery.
“She went for a job interview, she was excited for it, she thought it went really really well,” he recalled. “She walked out the door and she overheard other employees say they’d never hire her because she’s a druggie. The message was, ‘we don’t believe in you, and we don’t care.’ Well this building shows we care.”
Amy Tatro, Jenna’s sister-in-law, explained that people at Jenna’s Coffee House can learn basic skills, like cooking and money-management, to benefit their transition out of the program and into full recovery. She said, people in stage two are usually there for three to four months.
“A lot of what people do is wake up and go to their jobs, and that is the motivating factor for everything they do,” she said. “These people need the same opportunities, and it’s even more important because it’s that motivation and that confidence that keeps them in recovery, it’s what gets them up in the morning and they say, ‘no, I’m not going to use today because I have to go to work.'”
There are eight recovery beds at Jenna’s Coffee House. Amy added, people in the program will have everything they need to build back their lives.
Krista Chesbro was able to recover from her addiction thanks to Jenna’s Promise, and she now works for the organization.
“I have been battling drug addiction for over 20 years, and I lost my best friend on May 22nd of 2021,” Chesbro recalled. “It became life and death, so I came here, Jenna’s Promise, on August 4th of 2021, and this program has held me through all of it.”
She said she was never able to stay sober until she came to Jenna’s Promise. Amy noted, she hopes Jenna’s Coffee House can expand its hours to be able to serve more people.