Discovery Cafe Program Rapidly Expands Recovery Services

Discovery Cafe Program Rapidly Expands Recovery Services

The Discovery Cafe started working on the Colorado Mountain Faculty Rifle campus in 2021.

Gabe Cohen is government director of this system, which conducts non-clinical assist conferences known as “restoration circles,” for habit, homelessness, incarceration and different private struggles.

He had no expertise main non-profit organizations earlier than beginning this system.

And since final 12 months, it has exploded.

Discovery Cafe has a brand new location in Basalt, the place it presents restoration circles in Spanish.

Cohen additionally leads assist conferences at Rifle Correctional Heart and Garfield County Jail, they usually practice some inmates to develop into restoration coaches.

On Monday, Cohen spoke with “All Issues Thought-about” anchor and reporter Halle Zander concerning the modifications to this system, the restoration course of and her previous expertise with substance abuse and incarceration.

Discovery Espresso


Courtesy of Discovery Café

Gabe Cohen addresses inmates at Rifle Correctional Heart throughout their GED commencement ceremony in August.

Cohen: I’m a cocaine recovering particular person, an individual who has been out and in of the Colorado Division of Corrections seven instances. I used to be final launched from jail in 2011 and got here again to this valley. I used to be broke, homeless, 40 years previous, stayed at Glenwood Youth Hostel and began my journey of restoration.

I did not perceive it straight away. In 2018 I overdosed on cocaine and realized I could not have a foot on both aspect of the fence. This led me to develop into a restoration coach. I noticed plenty of flaws within the system.

We launched the Discovery Cafe at Colorado Mountain Faculty in Rifle. We have now what we name Restoration Circle assist conferences. It isn’t nearly recovering from substances, medicine or alcohol. It may be restoration from something: homelessness, psychological well being points, incarceration.

We wish to say we’re all recovering from one thing, or I like to think about ourselves as a reservoir of assets, to assist individuals join.

Zander: You launched the Discovery Cafe in Rifle. Now you might be in Rifle Correctional Heart and Garfield County Jail. You might have a location in Basalt. It appears to be like such as you’re creeping increased up the valley over time. Do you see extra demand in sure communities within the Valley?

Cohen: There are people who find themselves struggling no matter an individual’s demographic or financial standing, you realize, from individuals within the hospitality business to individuals who come right here to get together and have time and perhaps to get caught. You recognize, overdose, suicide, psychological well being points, do not see county traces or financial institution accounts. I imply, we’re all human.

Zander: Are restoration circles completely different inside than outdoors?

Cohen: The construction is identical, however, you realize, there are completely different challenges for women and men after they’re incarcerated. And there are literally variations between the restoration circle conferences that I’ve within the county jail and the jail.

You get individuals recent off the streets who’re nonetheless in rehab or in withdrawal, or it is their first time in jail. Versus in jail, a man comes out tomorrow. He is been down for 11 years, you realize, and the nervousness of getting out and what it is gonna be like, coping with my case supervisor, you hear all types of various issues. It’s a subculture in itself.

It is simply completely different content material, completely different occasions, say, set in a jail or county jail versus the Discovery Cafe at CMC or the Basalt. However in the end, coping with nervousness, coping with fears, coping with insecurities, coping with pleasure, coping with habit. I imply, the inspiration – very comparable.

Zander: How is it to return to a jail or jail house from your personal restoration?

Cohen: I considered it. I choked to demise final week in jail and truly on Thanksgiving. It had been a very long time since I had spent a vacation incarcerated. And you could possibly simply see their faces in among the guys’ faces that their heads had been someplace else. You recognize, they miss their households. It is a robust place.

You recognize, you’ve got guys who want they may very well be with their household on a trip like this. They’ve pals within the facility who get particular visits as a result of it is a vacation, and they do not get a go to.

Being again there and serving to out was probably the greatest Thanksgivings I’ve had in a very long time. I had somebody within the restoration neighborhood say, you realize, ‘You’ve got been out and in of county jail so many various instances and out and in of jail. Like, why would you wish to return? However like, these are my individuals.

I wish to give guys hope. I wish to allow them to know that you are able to do one thing completely different – that your previous does not outline your future. And I’m residing proof of that.

Zander: Who’s one particular person on the RCC that you simply assume is making actually important progress?

Cohen: You recognize, an instance is a man who had an issue with one of many COs, who’s a correctional officer: an argument over a piece task.

They requested them to do one thing…they usually had an trade of phrases. He used profanity and it was written, which suggests, you realize, there may very well be penalties.

However he involves the group, and he talks about it and talks about what occurred and began speaking to him about like, can we kill them with kindness? You recognize, do now we have to make use of these phrases after we get mad? Can we see it from their perspective?

Then he was off to a different job putting in the library. They got here again to him and instructed him that he acquired some questions improper as a result of there was a take a look at to see if he might work there. And he identified that actually they had been improper and his solutions had been proper. And he had beforehand labored in one other jail in a library.

He gently introduced it to them. He now has a job on the library, and after they wanted somebody to go to the completely different housing models, they wanted an inmate employee they may belief. And so they known as him particularly due to the work he does on the library.

However he got here to a gaggle to share that employees see him as reliable. Simply six months in the past, they thought-about him a menace and had been pondering of getting him out of court docket, which suggests taking him to a different jail.

These are the abilities these guys want after they’re courting, and you’ll’t begin practising them if nobody teaches you ways.

Zander: One other factor you have mentioned prior to now. Kings and Monks Ministries is the non-profit group behind Discovery Cafe. And Christianity is a giant a part of your life. Is there a Christian component to those restoration circles?

Cohen: We’re not pushing a Christian agenda. It isn’t a spiritual house. It isn’t like a Bible examine. It isn’t a religion group. The Discovery Cafe and Restoration Circle conferences are strictly secular.

That mentioned, everyone seems to be welcome to share their reality and lived expertise. However I am not right here to evangelize. God comes again in some conversations.

I’ve an atheist man who acquired indignant after I mentioned I’d pray for him, and he took it as an insult. And I did not imply that as an insult. I meant that as if it got here from a spot of affection. And we had a extremely good open dialog about why he feels the way in which he feels and why I really feel the way in which I really feel. And it was throughout the group.

I feel it is all within the method. You recognize, I do not cover the very fact of my religion or what I imagine in.

    A young Gabe Cohen shows excitement in a pair of American flag pants after his release from Pitkin County Jail in 1997.

Gabe Cohen


Courtesy image

Gabe Cohen exhibits enthusiasm after his launch from Pitkin County Jail in 1997.

#Discovery #Cafe #Program #Quickly #Expands #Restoration #Companies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.