Been a long time since the house at 129 A Street, the red one with the funky siding, was a home.
But a lot of warm stuff happens inside of it every day.
Where they find treatment center beds for addicts.
Where they reconnect addicts with their families.
Where they help people struggling with addiction find their feet again.
Step inside, Jordan Bonathan and Hannah Tews’ll pour you a hot cup, tell you about it.
Like they do with the 50 or so people who drop by every day.
Because, after being closed for 10 weeks of planning, and to prepare for the annual auction Oct. 19 at Emerald Downs, the open sign is on again in the windows of Battlefield Coffee House.
“Hannah runs the coffee shop,” Bonathan explains, “I’m kind of her right-hand man, doing whatever she needs, learning how a coffee shop works, making coffee, doing deliveries, cleaning up, whatever,”
“…They’re slowly starting to trickle back in. People that need help. The word’s getting out there,” Bonathan added.
Like most of Battlefield’s volunteers, Bonathan – who bears more than a passing resemblance to actor and director Ron Howard – has “been there,” in and out of treatment, in his case for about seven years.
When he graduated from Kentlake High School in 2003, however, he attended Green River Community College, worked at Boeing and at a liquor distributorship, and like most young guys, dreamed of a sunny future. But the problems he had been preparing for himself were about to waylay him.
“I was always the loudest kid in the room. I wanted to party, but I created a monster, and I didn’t know how to handle it,” he recalled.
Pain pills to soothe a shoulder injury greased his slide. And when he hit bottom, heroin and methamphetamines were there.
Bonathan ended up on the streets.
But he’s one of the lucky ones: he found help with Battlefield.
“This the only place I’ve been able to stay sober,” Bonathan said, with an appreciative look around. “This and our sister company, Big Change Recovery Homes, have never said ‘no’ to me, have never turned their back on me. And when I made personal mistakes or had setbacks, they never said, ‘You’re gone for good.’ They might have kicked me out here and there, said, ‘go get sober, and come back.’ ”
“Battlefield grew out of the need for a place for families of addicts to get some support,”Art Dahlen, co-founder of Battlefield Coffee House and a recovering heroin addict with 18 years in the field of addiction, explained when the coffee house opened in 2018.
Bonathan wants others to find the same help he did.
“If you have a friend or family member, battling with addiction, cone over and have a cup of coffee, let’s talk about it,” Bonathan said. “A kid showed up the other day I was in treatment with six years ago and is getting involved again,” Bonathan said.