Haven House founder Charles Plauche hopes two thrift stores will be better than one for funding the Haven House mission to provide faith-based addiction recovery.
Plauche’s second thrift store in Miramar Beach will be open by the middle of December. The longtime owner hopes the new store will help expand the Haven House mission, if only to its previous numbers.
Because of shortfalls in budgeting, “we had cut down on the population,” said Plauche. Haven House has 15 in its recovery program, but Plauche hopes that number grows to 30, where it was before the downturn in the economy.
The store had to cut back due to the recession and the 2010 oil spill, but now, Plauche says, “It’s stabilizing.”
The new 8,000-square-foot showroom, at 12381 W. U.S. Highway 98, will have furniture, home goods, clothing, books, and electronics, much like the existing store at Nellie Drive in Santa Rosa Beach.
The new store will help further the Haven House mission and provide some well-needed healing and treatment to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
“We will use that funding from the new store to fund the beds. Hopefully that will help us get back to our full capacity … we still want to provide for the people who can’t go anywhere else,” said Plauche.
Those undergoing treatment at the “nonregulated, faith-based treatment center” work in the thrift store, which Plauche says is a great opportunity for the men and women to regain self-esteem.
“If you want to have esteem, you have to do esteemable things. It’s work therapy,” he said. “They learn to wake up, be on time, function in a group. They have to learn how to get back in the swing. It really is vital to us.”
Fourteen months is the average stay for treatment, and in that time, those recovering get an opportunity to run all aspects of the thrift store, from cleaning to registers to stocking and delivery.
“They handle the aspects of running a small business … which will make them good employees and good owners one day,” he said. “The thrift store is really important for a lot of reasons.”
The store is second in importance only to the fellowship meetings to share the healing power of faith, which Plauche considers central to treatment.
“We meet for an hour or hour and a half … We do a gratitude list in the morning,” he said. “If the thrift store opens late, it’s because the meeting ran late.”
But there is no more substitute for fellowship.
“God is the only way to sobriety,” he said.
That is the same motto Plauche has maintained in the 15 years of the mission.
“I was blessed really,” he said. “When I wanted to get sober, I had the wherewithal to take some time and really get myself together.”
He got a job, but found himself “very unfulfilled.”
“I had a vision, some would say a moment of clarity, of devoting my life to service and being happy, joyous and free,” so he bought a 10-acre plot in Santa Rosa Beach and started Haven House. He has since been giving others suffering from addiction the same opportunity to be happy and free.
The entirety of the Haven House mission is funded by donations and money collected through thrift store sales.
It is easy for everyone to help further the mission, as there is an item in every price range.
“We have everything from a $5 chair to a $200 chair. We want everyone to be able to buy there,” said Plauche.
The new store will open by mid-December at its location at 12381 W. U.S. Highway 98 in Miramar Beach. For more information on the Haven House mission, visit havenhouse.net.