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Success Stories

Shawn’s Journey to Redemption: From Addiction to Achievement

When Shawn Minton was arrested, he thought his life was over.

“I remember telling the police officer he’d ruined my life,” Shawn said. “He told me ‘I believe in success stories. You may not believe this now, but your life is not over. I believe one day I’ll get a good report from you.'”

The police officer was right.

The Depths of Addiction

In Shawn’s early 20s, addiction became a rollercoaster he couldn’t escape.

“I started drinking, and then I guess I did every drug you could think of,” he said. “I was a productive addict. You wouldn’t have been able to look at me and just know I was on drugs.”

Though he dabbled in many drugs, hydrocodone became a destructive force. “That’s the one thing that absolutely destroyed my life,” he said.

Finding Redemption

When Shawn was eventually incarcerated for possession, he spent much of his free time praying and journaling.

“One day it hit me that I needed to forgive people who’d wronged me,” he said. “I started to pray for them every day.”

The more time he spent developing his relationship with God, the more peace he found.

“My time in jail was a turning point,” he said. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s what made me ready to change.”

The Turning Point

A month before Shawn’s release, his parents told him about Restoration of Hope.

“I was furious,” he said. “I didn’t want to go. In my mind, I’d been locked up. I was picturing that I still wouldn’t have any freedom, and I wanted to be free.”

Later that day, Shawn’s parents called back and offered to get him an apartment, a phone, and a car to help him get back on his feet. The next morning, as Shawn was reading his Bible and journaling, he knew what he had to do.

“As clearly as I’m talking to you now, out of nowhere, I knew it in my heart,” he said. “I just heard, ‘Don’t take that apartment. Go to Restoration of Hope.’ I knew that if I went out and got that apartment, it wouldn’t be long before I’d get high. As much as you think you’re ready when you get out, you’re going into a war. To assume you aren’t going to be tempted is foolish.”

Battling Temptations

ROH offers a highly structured environment for the formerly incarcerated like Shawn. They rise early and keep a strict schedule of work, Bible study, and worship. And at first, it was tough for Shawn.

“I tried to leave a couple of times,” he said. “I walked off twice. I came back the same night, but I was battling with myself. I wanted to be free, and I wanted my stuff. Graciously, Danny let me come back.”

Leaving came with consequences—he had to do extra chores while wearing a neon vest that showed you were in trouble.

“It absolutely infuriated me, made me feel weak and embarrassed,” Shawn said. “It absolutely changed me.”

Along with the vest, Shawn also had to spend hours writing out scriptures.

“I did it for five days, stewing the entire time,” he said. “And I can remember the night it changed. I just remember thinking, ‘I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t have to feel this way.’ I decided to let it go, and all the anger was gone. I still had to wear the vest, but I walked around with a smile on my face. I didn’t need approval; I was wanting peace inside.”

Embracing Success

Once Shawn stopped counting how many days he had left at ROH, the days began to pass quickly. The housing, food, clothing, counseling, and support ROH provided gave Shawn the foundation he needed to rebuild his life.

“When I really started to grow was when I threw the calendar out the door,” he said. “I wasn’t going to have an exit plan until I was ready.”

That exit plan hatched when Shawn’s mentor John Carnes connected him with a job opportunity at Cooper Tire. Today, Shawn has a strong relationship with his children, a supervisor role at Cooper Tire, and is engaged to his fiancee Savannah. When he has free time, he returns to ROH weekly to minister the other men.

His mother, Jeannie Peninger, said she’s proud of Shawn’s progress.

“He has changed his life unbelievably,” she said. “Watching him struggle with addiction was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He came back to being himself with the help of the men of Restoration of Hope. It’s just been a phenomenal thing to not have to worry about him anymore.”

Full Circle

Remember the police officer from the beginning of the story? The one who Shawn thought had ruined his life?

One day Shawn and his ROH housemates were at Church on the Rock giving a presentation about their ministry and selling watermelons.

“Right in front of me, I saw a guy that looked familiar,” Shawn said. “It was the cop that had arrested me. As soon as he realized who I was, he said he and his partner wouldn’t have believed I was the same person they arrested that night. He grabbed me and gave me a huge hug.”

Do you know a man struggling with reentry, homelessness, or addiction in the Texarkana area?

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News & Events

Restoration of Hope adds new chapel and expands facility

TEXARKANA, Texas – A Texarkana non-profit dedicated to helping parolees find a higher purpose is expanding its facility.

Since opening in 2020, Restoration of Hope has helped 1500 men off the streets and out of prison. There’s currently 65 men in their facility and care homes.

Founder Danny Stone says they’ve just opened a new chapel and are adding 24 more beds to the facility.

“We teach them financial classes, budgeting, we help them repair their credit. Whatever the devil stole from them in their addiction, we’re here to restore it through the love of Jesus Christ,” said Stone.

See the video at KTBS.com.

Categories
News & Events

High hopes: Texarkana nonprofit envisions new chapel as place for men to grow

TEXARKANA, Texas– “Turning a mess into a message” is the motto the men at Restoration of Hope live by and also the same words plastered on the walls of the new transitional home.

On Wednesday, Restoration of Hope held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil Hope Chapel, its new bunkhouse facility at 1116 Walnut St. The ceremony brought out Mayor Bob Bruggeman; Denis Washington, CEO of Texarkana USA Chamber of Commerce; and other officials and residents.

Read more at the Texarkana Gazette.

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News & Events

Restoration of Hope: Expansion and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Read about our ribbon cutting ceremony at TxkToday!

Today, several members of the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, along with local business members and community supporters gathered together to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony on Restoration of Hope’s newest expansion. Restoration of Hope, which began four years ago with Danny Stone and his mother Judy’s support, has been working diligently within the Texarkana community to help support mens reintegration into society, by providing faith based classes, opportunities for jobs, shelter and so much more.

Read More at TxkToday.com

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News & Events

Turning a Mess Into a Message – ALT Magazine

Thank you to our friends at ALT Magazine for sharing our story throughout the Ark-la-tex!
Categories
Success Stories

‘Blessed and highly flavored’: Big Slice’s Place serves food for the soul

TEXARKANA, Texas — Marquis “Big Slice” Ewings never gave up on his dreams.

That determination lifted him out of homelessness and led to his opening Big Slice’s Place food truck.

The truck’s name comes from the nickname Ewings’ mother gave him when he was a boy — when he was always in the kitchen slicing up something.

“My mom went to culinary school; so did my brother. I came from a long line of culinary school graduates, and so it was just normal to follow in their footsteps. Cooking has been a big part of our family,” Ewings said.

Read more about Marquis’ journey with Restoration of Hope at the Texarkana Gazette.

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News & Events

Faith-based program helps parolees make life beyond bars

TEXARKANA, Texas – Figuring out life after prison can be difficult to navigate, especially without any guidance or resources.

That’s why a new christian ministry in Texarkana, Texas is stepping up to help parolees, not only get back on their feet, but change their lives.

The Restoration of Hope House has received many letters requesting to be part of their new upcoming program.

Read more and see the video at KTBS.com.

Categories
News & Events

New center to help parolees seek higher purpose | Director: It’s not a halfway house, but an all-the-way house for Jesus

TEXARKANA, Texas – Helping those men recently released from prison and mentoring them to become devoted to God is the mission of the Restoration of Hope Center, soon to open on Hazel Street

The center, at 1217 Hazel St., served for about 30 years as the Hazel Street Recovery Center for addicted and troubled youth before it closed in 2017. Now it’s being renovated for men who have been, or will soon be, paroled from prison – men who are now looking for a higher purpose in life.

“We like to say that we aren’t a halfway house,” said the center’s director, Danny Stone. “We are an all-the-way house for Jesus Christ.”

Read more at the Texarkana Gazette.