The HOFFA Foundation is hosting a community support event this weekend to celebrate the opening of their new multidisciplinary recovery house for men and to educate the community about their mission.
The HOFFA Foundation is a family-based organization dedicated to providing resources that will enable residents of Carroll County and beyond who are struggling with addiction to make forward progress in their recovery from substance abuse. Their primary program for recovery support is a “safe recovery residence where individuals can live while seeking long-term freedom from active addiction to drugs and alcohol,” according to the foundation’s website.
Tom Herb, founder of the nonprofit, shared this week the foundation recognized a need in the community for a safe residence which could house people recovering from addiction while they “start a solid path to long-term sober living and emotional and financial well-being.”
To help meet this need, he group decided to open the HOFFA House, designed to house individuals in recovery from substance abuse and addiction that have nowhere else to go, filling the gap between inpatient care and unsupervised home life.
This Sunday at 4 p.m., a number of county residents, community leaders and business owners will gather to support the HOFFA Foundation’s efforts at the new HOFFA House. The home, located at 1353 W. Liberty Road in Winfield, was purchased by the nonprofit in April and will be ready for intake in August. There will be room for seven residents and a house manager.
“We made sure there was plenty of room for meetings and gatherings,” Herb said. “We wanted rooms that create connections.”
While living in the home, residents will be asked to set specific goals and achieve them within a certain time period to minimize the risk of relapsing and maximize the rate of success.
Herb said his efforts to help people struggling with substance abuse began after his younger brother, Jimmy Zumbrun, lost his battle with addiction in the summer of 2019.
“Like so many families, we lost someone who was loved deeply by many and who is missed beyond measure,” he said.
Herb’s family owns Zumbrun Funeral Home, and Jimmy Zumbrun’s funeral service took place in the same building he grew up in.
“The final morning before cremating him, I sat by his casket and we had our last cup of coffee together,” Herb said. “Immediately I had an idea on how to keep my brother’s spirit alive.”
He began his mission by selling coffee beans in two different blends: “Jimmy’s Blend” from Seattle and “Jimmy’s Hometown Blend” from Westminster, raising money to put into the foundation’s work.
In August 2020, the nonprofit was officially created.
“Jimmy had a nickname for everyone, and his was Hoffa … It didn’t take us long to know what this foundation had to be called and create a fitting acronym: Healing, Opportunity, Free From Addiction,” Herb said.
He mentioned everyone on the board of directors for the foundation “sees addiction through a different lens,” whether they are in recovery themselves, have gone through it in the past or have a loved one struggling with addiction.
Melissa McCarthy, a member of the board, is in long-term recovery after being sober for almost 12 years. She spent the last decade working in the substance abuse and treatment field.
“This isn’t just about being great at fundraising,” she said. “It’s about what we are doing to drive impact in our own town.”
She mentioned a lot of behavioral health resources in the community are not obvious and many don’t even know they exist.
The HOFFA House is an “abstinence-based, medication-assisted, recovery-capable recovery residence” McCarthy said, and is intended to offer “hope to people that otherwise think they are alone.
“We’re going to break down barriers and break down the stigma” that comes along with recovering from addiction, she said. “Through hope and communication our mission is to heal and provide opportunities.”
At the house, residents will be able to learn again how to interact with others and foster skill sets that will make them “productive and contributing members of society.”
Residents will also have their own bed and not be “stuffed like sardines,” the board member said. In addition, she noted a detached garage will soon be a fully built out gym to help maintain physical wellness.
“We truly believe no one struggling with substance abuse disorder needs to die,” McCarthy said.
In this year’s Carroll Biz Challenge, a startup business competition for Carroll entrepreneurs, HOFFA Beans were one of the five businesses selected out of 50 to compete for the overall top prize of $10,000, for their plan to open a food truck.
“It’d be called HOFFA Beans and Biscuits,” Herb said, adding residents of the sober living house would have an opportunity for employment through the truck.
The annual HOFFA Classic golf tournament is another way the foundation is honoring Zumbrun’s legacy while fundraising for addiction recovery. The very first tournament was held at the end of May.
Herb said that tournament sold out in less than two days, which really demonstrated how incredible their community support is.
“Addiction does not discriminate,” he said. “It takes the whole community to break the stigma.”
Those interested in learning more can visit hoffafoundation.org.