KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rob and Anissa Elsey made some of their best memories in a place they never thought they would visit: an Oxford House.
The national organization it provides structure and a sober living environment for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. It has locations throughout the Kansas City, Missouri area.
The Northland Kansas City couple found themselves at an Oxford House during their daughter’s drug addiction journey.
“I have more respect for people in recovery than anyone else in the world,” said Rob Elsey clearly.
He quickly realized in Kansas City that there were more people recovering than places available at community centers like Oxford House. Part of the reason why the state of Missouri has stopped funding an outreach position, Oxford House has stopped expanding.
“We didn’t know what it would be like, we didn’t know what it would be like, we just knew we wanted to do something,” recalled Rob.
The couple founded In the name of grace, a nonprofit organization to raise money to finance this evangelism for Oxford House, Missouri. The organization allowed Oxford House to hire Lance Whitney, who now helps establish new homes.
Since 2017, In the Name of Grace has helped Oxford House to open 13 new homes in the Kansas City area and to reorganize five existing programs.
“Grace means giving recovering addicts a chance to evolve,” said Anissa. “This is exactly what Oxford does. This gives people who are really in recovery the opportunity to learn how to rise and evolve from the person they were before to what they can become. “
The Elseys found inspiration to launch the nonprofit with the story of Liz Murray. She became famous from the Lifetime film that portrayed his life called, “Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story”.
Murray grew up in New York with parents addicted to drugs. Thanks to mentors and more, she graduated from high school and won a scholarship to Harvard University.
“I was greeted by mentors and teachers who said, ‘We are here to help you. If you bet on yourself, we will bet on you. ‘And when I think of Oxford House, I think of grace, “said Murray.
Murray will share his journey during a Virtual fundraiser called “Grace Speaks” for the benefit In the Name of Grace on Tuesday, April 20.
“Let’s be realistic, I mean, this addiction journey is so confusing and it’s chaotic,” admitted Murray. “But, listening to the panel [on Grace Speaks] and by listening to the lecture and actually participating in the event, you can begin to clarify the general picture of, ‘Okay, it is possible for people to heal, there is a place for that, I can be part of that solution, and there is hope.’ “
Her message has changed the Elseys so much that they hope it will impact viewers as well.
To participate in the Grace Speaks fundraising event, visit the nonprofit’s website. Tickets cost $ 25. If you are unable to broadcast the event when it opens at 7 pm, your ticket will allow you to watch a recording at your own pace.