Green Recycling Works opened in January and already serves 30 businesses in Greater Cincinnati. Its greatest success though isn't recycling for companies, but restarting men's lives.
"There's a lot of waste," said Sherman Bradley, Vice President of City Gospel Mission. "This is not just a filler for us to say we're employing guys who wouldn't be employed otherwise. This business model is something that we believe is sustainable long-term. And we're just getting our feet wet."
The City Gospel Mission created the service to help recovering addicts get back on their feet and into their work boots.
"I'm so loving where I am now. Loving waking up every morning, having work on my mind, having family at home, it feels good. It feels great," said Delmond Montgomery, an Green Recycling Works employee.
But Del wasn't always feeling great. With the help of City Gospel Mission he got off of drugs and alcohol, into a job, and back home to his family.
"I believe that I could be the father and the husband that I should've been in the beginning," Montgomery said.
Green Recycling Works now employs three graduates of the Mission's recovery program. They hope that all will go on to greener pastures than where they were before.
"I overdosed on pills. I ended up going out one night, met up with this guy, he gave me an Oxy 80 instead of an Oxy 40. I did the whole thing. Didn't wake up until a day and a half later," said Zachery Wilson, a Green Recycling Works employee.
But it was also a wake-up call.
"When I got into high school, I was about just going through my day getting messed up. Once I ended up flipping the script going to City Gospel Mission, I started seeing things with clear eyes," Wilson said.
Even in this stormy economy the men are optimistic about employment. Their former coworker Kiefer Moreland just started a new job with Cincinnati Reuse Center.
"I knew that there would be some route some way God would provide someway for me to continue my life and change my lifestyle," Moreland said.
But these men also want to give good back. Zach will work full-time until he enrolls in Cincinnati State's nursing program this fall.
"I'll be able to help people and at the end of the day I'll actually feel good."
- Stephanie Woods