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Minneapolis nonprofit Will Work for Recovery needs help to expand

Minneapolis nonprofit Will Work for Recovery needs help to expand
Minneapolis nonprofit Will Work for Recovery needs help to expand 02:23

MINNEAPOLIS — Freedom. It seems that would be the goal for people serving time in prison.  

But freedom can be complicated. With a criminal history, it's hard to get housing and a job.

A Minneapolis nonprofit is taking a different approach to helping people re-enter society and remain clean and they're finding success. But as WCCO found out, the future of the popular group is up in the air.

"Will Work for Recovery" meets in an office building decorated with Christmas lights, Elvis statues and knick-knacks wall to wall. It's safe to say it's an eccentric place. 

The quirky decor is designed to make people feel they are in a comfortable place — the opposite of prison.  

Founder Carolyn Nieche helped found "Will Work for Recovery," which helps people stay in recovery. Eighty percent of the people they serve are transitioning out of prison. They offer everything from resume help, to yoga, to nutrition classes.

Paul Bierch created the idea to make people "just feel good about themselves, that they're worth it and that they're worthy."


After a 40-year battle, Biersch is free from jail and substances. And the demand at "Will Work for Recovery" is large.

"We're busting at the seams," Nieche said.

Some of their success stories include Charlie Cohen, who is literally using soap to stay clean with his small business called "Super-Natural So-HOPE. And Ashley Korbel, a program volunteer, is celebrating six years of sobriety this week.

"This place saved my life because it was completely different than what I was used to," Korbel said.

The results are clear, but the future is not. They need to move to a bigger space, and they need $15,000 to do it.

"I don't know how we would be able to survive if we don't get a sustainable stream of income in," Nieche said.

She says understandably, the clients they serve aren't able to help much financially. For now, they are moving forward on hope, because hope is their specialty, and they know how to get creative,

"Will Work for Recovery" is fundraising on their website. You can also find out more about the group by listening to their podcast, where people share stories of hope. It's live every Friday at 8 p.m.

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