Man starts thrift store, changes lives after losing son to addiction

SOUTH WILLIAMSON, Ky. (WSAZ) – After dealing with the tragic loss of a son to addiction in 2019, Paul Williamson and his wife have built a thrift store and ministry for people battling the disease.

Outreach for Addiction Ministry is more than just a thrift store. Williamson, his wife, and others on the non-profit’s board hold meetings each month for people going through addiction recovery and operating a sober living home.

“I stood beside him through much of his battle as much as I could and he eventually lost his life,” said Williamson. “Through his struggle.”

Williamson says he hopes the store and ministry give others a little light, who may otherwise not have hope.

“I was one of the people that always looked down on others for their drug addictions and their problems in their life and always thought they didn’t want better for themselves,” said Williamson.

Lead by faith, Williamson and his wife started talking to people suffering from addiction and listening to their stories while volunteering at rehab centers.

He learned addiction had cost the people inside the facilities everything; their families, relationships, and items like clothes.

Williamson was able to get sponsors to cover clothing for more than 80 people. They wrapped the gifts and hosted a Christmas celebration for the people inside the facility.

This act was just the beginning. Eventually he opened Outreach for Addiction Ministry, which became a non-profit. The organization offers faith-based meetings and help anyone suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression or alcoholism.

The thrift store came next. Williamson said his wife likes thrift stores, and after seeing the need for clothes inside the rehab facility, they raised money and opened the store in June, 2021.

Williamson then opened a sober living home called Daniel’s Place. Four people are able to live at the home and work at the thrift store.

“Through working here, we have helped them pay their court costs and all their fines,” said Williamson.

Williamson says he sees changes in people’s eyes.

“Addiction had brought them down to the point where they were basically in misery and they just need someone to show them some love and affection and that someone cared,” Williamson said.

For more information on Outreach for Addiction Ministry’s mission and/or contact information click here.

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