FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An organization that aims to provide biblical addiction recovery services to men in Fort Wayne is celebrating its 10th birthday this year.
The Lighthouse is the brainchild of Brandon Bower, who founded the organization and started with just one house on McCormick Avenue where men lived while fighting addiction.
However, now that the organization has grown to include four other properties, including a 13,000-square-foot center for hosting men as they fight addiction, the original house is now vacant and has become more of an inconvenience.
However, that house won’t be unoccupied for long, and it will welcome residents fighting similar battles.
“When I reached out to my friend Tomi Cardin at the Redemption House, she had a need for a new house for a women and children home,” Bowers said.
“The opportunity to acquire their first house and use it as an expansion of our ministry to house mothers and their children sounds just incredible,” said Tomi Cardin, CEO of Redemption House, an organization that operates in a similar manner to The Lighthouse, but for women.
Redemption House is a network of transition homes for women who desire to redeem their lives from past destructive behavior by developing a faith-based lifestyle and by gaining the skills necessary to achieve and maintain success.A description from https://redemptionhousefw.org/
The new location will give Redemption House a spot that would allow recovering mothers to still live with their children after “graduating” from a court-ordered home, which is an alternative to jail.
“Women graduate from the court-ordered portion of their residency, and we have seen over the years that they struggle to find safe, affordable, sober housing,” Cardin said. “We needed a home for a mom with her kids that offered those things; it’s safe, affordable, it’s sober.”
All things the house already has already offered to The Lighthouse for years, and Bowers sees the potential the house has to continue providing a sober place for recovery.
“I love to support other Christ-centered ministries in our community, and helping ministries where we are the hands and feet of Jesus,” Bowers said. “It’s a great collaboration, and I love it.”
The passing down of property may be an official partnership, but the two organizations have actually been intertwined much longer.
At least, their respective owners have.
“When I started The Lighthouse, there was one person I called and it was Tomi Cardin, and I said ‘what am I getting myself into,'” Bowers said.
“Brandon and I have been friends for a long time — I am exactly one year older than him — the Redemption House has been around one year longer than the Lighthouse, so I am the boss of him,” Cardin jokingly said. “We have really grown up together learning these things, and supporting one another.”
It’s that friendship that looks to keep the legacy of a small blue house on McCormick Avenue alive.
A legacy that is much bigger than its molding or lawn, one that has jumpstarted the recovery of countless men and is primed to change the lives of just as many women.
Or, as Bowers simply puts it, “It’s a win-win.”