It all started with a prison sentence.
Rhonda Bear had a dream. It's rather simple, yet difficult to achieve. Rhonda envisioned a community with less recidivism and more successful, healthy women.
Recidivism, the act of relapsing into negative behavior, is a major problem in Oklahoma. And Rhonda is no stranger to this problem.
"I was previously incarcerated."
That's not an easy statement for some people to proclaim, but Rhonda is more than happy to share her story of failure-turned-success.
Rhonda struggled at an early age with drug addiction and numerous arrests. After losing custody of her children and serving prison time, Rhonda knew she wanted to change.
After working with her Stand in the Gap family, a ministry-led transitional home, Rhonda was able to regain custody of her three children and hold a steady job for nine years.
Rhonda is now clean, sober, and the founder of She Brews Coffee House. This coffee house, located in Claremore, Oklahoma, provides opportunities for women reentering into society after struggling with problems like drug addiction.
Rhonda explains that She Brews Coffee House is "intended to give back what was given to me. I feel like people invested in me, and now what I tell them all the time is it's earning interest, because I am now investing in the lives of other women."
Rhonda also directs His House Outreach Ministries, a faith-based transitional home in Claremore. Women who are regaining their lives at His House are given the opportunity to work at She Brews to gain responsibility, leadership, trustworthiness, and social skills.
Rhonda's mission statement is:
"To improve the quality of life by advocating for women struggling with reentering back into society successfully; to bring effective solutions to the cycle of recidivism by providing programs focused on social and economic change and community development within Claremore. She Brews Coffee Shops helps us do this"
She Brews is certainly upholding its mission, as there have already been several women who have moved on from She Brews to hold other jobs or focus on higher education.
The past is dark, but the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly within the walls of She Brews Coffee House. The service is always friendly, and the citizens of Claremore have graciously supported this cause since our opening in November 2012.
We'd love to see you soon, as we continue to brew inspiration, strength, and change.