MINDEN, La (12/12/19)– There’s something big brewing behind the walls of The Broken Bean coffee shop in Minden. This quaint business sells an assortment of homemade coffees and small plates.
You’ll notice the entire shop is run by women. A group of women who didn’t think they would even be here.
“When I was in prison, I cried out to God, and he saved me,” Casie jones, a graduate of Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge graduate.
Casie, Teri and Kelli all work at the broken bean — and are recovering drug addicts.
All three women got sober at the Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge Center in Minden.
“It wasn’t a 30 day rehab or a counseling session that was going to make me better. I knew that god was the only thing that could help me,” said Teri Hemphill, Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge graduate.
Teri, a West Monroe native, struggled with addiction for more than 20 years.
“There’s just years that I don’t even remember. I just felt like……I wasn’t worth anything,” said Hemphill.
A childhood of abuse and neglect created low self-esteem, transforming her life into a drug-fueled hell. With an addiction that had an unrelenting grip on her life.
“I got pregnant and I could not stop using, and I had an emergency c-section and he died, said Hemphill.
For years, Teri was in the thick of her addiction– homeless with her two children.
She thought there was no hope, but on June 13 2018, that all changed.
“When I got here, I was overwhelmed. Everybody was so nice and so friendly and you know, and wanted me to be here. I just got the first taste of hope that i had in a long time,” said Hemphill.
The Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge Center in Minden, also known as the Minden Family Center, is the only facility in the state that takes in women with children and expecting mothers struggling with addiction.
It is a faith based program that and teaches their students structure and work ethic.
The facility currently houses 28 students, 28 children, and 16 staff members who have graduated the program.
“All the ladies that come to us, their lives are wrecked. They’re bound up by addiction. Addiction is real!” said Andy Jenkins, Director of Minden Family Center.
Jenkins graduated from the men’s program in 1992 and has been sober since. Jenkins says the program has a 78% success rate.
A figure he says can be accredited to one thing: faith
“We can’t take credit. It really comes down to your personal relationship with Jesus. All we’re trying to be is a cast, a structure, and allow them and god to bring healing into their lives”
Several of the women who graduated from the program work five days a week at the broken bean.
All of the sales from the shop are poured right back into the program.
“You don’t have to have drugs, that is just a lie that the enemy tells us to keep us in addiction. After getting sober and coming to Christ, the joy of the lord is enough,” said Kelli Lofton, Louisiana Adult and Teen Challenge graduate.
It’s more than just coffee. It’s hope.
The Minden Family Center is run primarily off of donations. If you are interested in donating Christmas gifts to the children or if you or someone you love want to enroll in the program, you can go to www.louisianateenchallenge.com or call (318) 382-0203.