Weikum battled through years of addiction before turning his life around. He and his wife, Kathy, now counsel other recovering addicts in a faith-based, residential recovery program located in their home called His House Recovery Residence Inc.
A ministry of God’s Rolling Thunder, an independent Bible church, His House has provided a temporary home for those seeking to restore their lives from the consequences of alcoholism and drug addiction since 2007. Housed in a three-bedroom, private residence in a subdivision on Latimer Lane off Shallowford Road, it has seven beds that often remain occupied.
So the organization is seeking to expand in rooms and office space, as well as dig itself out of about $30,000 of mortgage debt. Kevin said he is trying to modify the existing mortgage with Chase Bank, but believes the bank’s patience is wearing thin.
“If Chase Bank doesn’t cooperate with us in a modification, then we’re going to have to relocate,” said Kevin, His House executive director.
If that happens, Kevin and Kathy may find themselves in the same predicament has many of the people who seek their aid: homeless.
His House doesn’t treat addiction, but instead, helps those who have already gone through a treatment program to transition to a life of sobriety in an open-ended transitional living program. It uses a 12-step approach to recovery supported by professional self-help organizations and provides members with transportation to their recovery meetings, employment assistance, educational assistance, and access to healthcare, food and clothing resources.
In addition, members meet three times a week for counseling, personal development and Bible study at the house. On average, most stay at His House for about five or six months.
As a ministry, faith also plays an important part in the work that His House does, said Kevin.
“We try to help people find and embrace a faith in God,” he said. “It’s not something that you can force upon somebody, so we don’t do that. We provide them with all of the opportunities in the world to pursue a relationship with God.”
Frankie Taylor, 61, has been a resident of His House for the past seven months. Like many recovering addicts, he has fallen off the sobriety wagon several times. But he said His House has already had a profound impact on his life since arriving there. He said he has begun exercising and attending worship services at God’s Rolling Thunder.
“It’s a good program,” said Taylor. “It’s a safe place to be.”
Kevin said he knows first-hand what it’s like to have to battle addiction. Like Taylor, he said he suffered from alcoholism, as well as drugs, and that it took him multiple tries in a recovery program before he could call himself sober.
“I managed to pretty much lose everything; I lost my first family and two careers over it,” said Kevin, who is presently pursuing a counseling license. “Part of recovery is helping other people to recover.”
In 1983, Kevin first met Kathy in Bible college. After he and his wife divorced eight years ago and she lost her first husband to addiction, they were married. They will celebrate their fifth anniversary in October. The decision to allow other people to live in their family’s home was a big decision, acknowledged Kathy, His House executive administrator. “I didn’t hesitate,” she said. “Seeing him go through his recovery — the most important thing was that he maintain his sobriety and I knew how important it was for him to help others. He has always had a pastor’s heart.”
However, members are informed early on that house rules, such as chores, are to be strictly adhered to, otherwise they face repercussions, she said. In return, they get to enjoy a safe and supportive environment, as well as amenities to the subdivision.
But unless the organization finds more private donors, who largely fund the nonprofit, everyone living in His House will be forced to face harsher realities, Kevin said. His House Recovery Residence can be contacted at 19 Latimer Lane NE, Kennesaw, GA 30144; by calling (770) 312-2598 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.