‘Hope & Coffee’ Offers Help for Those in Recovery

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TAMAQUA, Pa. -- In an effort to take the streets back from drug addiction, officials began a building project to help those recovering get back on their feet.

Those in recovery are helping transform an old building into a coffee shop in Tamaqua.

Workers spent the day spackling walls and painting doors of the future Hope & Coffee in Tamaqua on Wednesday.

Those renovating the vacant building in Schuylkill County and those behind the counter are recovering from addiction.

"I am coming off drugs, and I have been clean for about a year and a half, and I know the impact. It can change their lives," said Chris Blevins.

Tamaqua Area Community Partnership and other area businesses are working together to make this empty space into a thriving coffee spot.

Officials tell Newswatch 16 the second floor will be used as a meeting space for those suffering from addiction.

"As you get one person out, they see the way out. They see the hope, and they know that there is people that is going to help them through their lives," Blevins said.

It's not just about transforming this former apartment building into a coffee house. Officials wanted to give those recovering from addiction a second chance.

"Employ people who are in recovery. Use people that are in recovery, and show people that our world every day we are around people who are successful," said Micah Gursky, Tamaqua Area Community Partnership.

Rich Lehr of Diamond Construction Group has been in recovery for 12 years and was proud to give Newswatch 16 a tour of the future coffee house.

"Just taking self-pride in what we do and making sure we are doing what we can and giving back to the community and this is what God gave us, our hands, so we are using our hands to do the best that we can," Lehr said.

Coffee lovers in Tamaqua will have to wait until early June for Hope & Coffee to open.

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