BUFFALO, Mo. – A new center for drug and alcohol rehabilitation called the Buffalo Serenity Center of Dallas County (BSCDC) has made its way to Buffalo, Missouri.
Five years ago, Roxxanne Estep received a DWI.The hardship of the ramifications from the arrest gave her the motivation to help others who are also struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.
Estep says the closest SATOP classes are 45 minutes away in Springfield. When Estep attended Alcoholics Anonymous, she quickly found out that many of her peers were having the same issue: traveling to Springfield for SATOP classes is almost impossible for those who have lost their driver’s license.
“We don’t have resources like Springfield has,” Estep said. “We’re far enough out that anybody who wants to seek help has to go pretty far to get it.”
Estep came together with her friend Claude Demster and others at a 12-step program meeting to discuss opening a local rehabilitation center for those who may be unable to travel.
In order to establish themselves as an organization and purchase a building, the group sold some of their own assets and set up donation campaigns and a GoFundMe page. In March, the BSCDC was able to purchase a nearly-condemned 100-year old building in Buffalo.
Estep said that working on the building has helped her in a way that also might help others who are struggling with current or former addictions.
“What we found out as our small little group is that this helps in your sobriety,” Estep said. “Building becomes our baby. Working on it occupies those hands, it occupies your mind. It really has helped in a positive way. Idle hands are the devil’s playground.”
Estep has enrolled into college to work towards a Bachelor’s Degree in business management with a concentration on non-profits in an effort to run BSCDC more efficiently.
Estep and Demster’s vision for the center is to provide job training, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and rent the space to any other groups who would like to help locals with their sobriety. There will be designated areas of the building for food and clothing storage, offices and a kids room for those attending meetings who have children.
Eventually, the BSCDC would like to open halfway houses for men and women inside of the center.
Even with extensive repairs needed for the facility, the group has still been able to host multiple ‘eat and meet’ events. Individuals are encouraged to come eat a warm meal and enjoy the company of others without any pressure to talk about their issues or addictions.
In the future, the Buffalo Serenity Center plans to have cots and big screen televisions upstairs for visitors to enjoy. Estep says it is important for people to socialize and keep their minds as far away from addiction as possible, and she believes the center can eventually become a sanctuary for that.
The organization just held a Thanksgiving event for former addicts who do not have family and for those whose families will not accept them for reasons stemming from their battle with addiction. A Christmas event is also being planned.
“It’s a sober place to have a great time,” Estep said. “Normally you would be surrounded by addicts and doing your thing. We want this to be sober, safe and happy. I have learned that I can have more fun sober than I did unsober. We’re bringing that back to people.”
BSCDC says they are open to ideas and suggestions and would love to hear from the public. Those interested in donating, volunteering or offering ideas can reach the organization at 417-733-5401.