One Eighty: Prevent, reach, develop

Mission | February 27, 2017

It started in a jail cell. It expanded to a mobile home. It moved into a couple of buildings. Now, an organization called One Eighty is on a $1.5 million course to revitalize a half-city block.

Rusty Boruff is a convicted felon who spent time in jail because of his failed attempts to feed a drug addiction. He’s now dedicated his life to prevention and healing people who are abused, addicted, incarcerated, homeless, forgotten.

“We love the people in this community. We feel this community is worth investing in,” said Rusty, the founder and executive director of One Eighty. 

A man named Merle

Rusty had a pretty normal upbringing, one that included church, he said. But he got into alcohol and drugs in high school. He found himself homeless at age 18, doing whatever he could to feed his addiction and survive. He slept in a van, broke into people’s homes. With a son on the way, he was arrested and sent to jail.

A man named Merle, in his 90s, came to visit Rusty in the Mercer County Jail. He visited every single Sunday. It was never what Merle really said that made the biggest impact, Rusty said, it’s what he showed him: God forgave him. Someone believed in him.

When Rusty got out of jail, he knew that his life would be devoted to helping others. He and a few friends bought a mobile home for $500, a place for men leaving incarceration to come and stay. That grew to a few buildings in Davenport. Today, One Eighty is a 12-month residential program for 18 men and 10 women. It includes enterprises that provide employment training and opportunities and affordable housing for 25 men and women. A school outreach initiative offers a baseball league, afterschool program, a food pantry, mentoring, and clothing and household item donations.

Eighteen staff members work at One Eighty. Each month, upwards of 300 volunteers lend a hand. In April, One Eighty purchased the half-block at 6th and Marquette Streets.

Old made new

Nearly 20 years ago, the neighborhood in Davenport took a big hit. A beloved school closed, and a neighborhood that already had its share of challenges added more struggling buildings to the list of hardships. Over the years, groups tried to keep the campus – which included a shuttered church, rectory, and convent – going, but it never quite stabilized. In one weekend, One Eighty volunteers, staff, and participants remodeled, painted, cleaned up, and cleared out the property. It was enough to move many of the organization’s initiatives into one place.

The old Catholic church is now offices and meeting spaces. The large rectory is home to the men in the residential program. The convent is called stability housing – for those who have graduated the program but want to remain connected. A nearby house on Marquette Street is where women live. The school has the donation center, and will be rehabbed to serve as classrooms, library, computer lab, gym, and music and art rooms for the community. It will be called the One Eighty Achievement Center.

The goal? To prevent crisis, poverty, and addiction before it happens; to reach out to those who are experiencing those three circumstances; and develop them so that they can live healthy, thriving lives. “We will change this neighborhood from the inside out,” Rusty said.

Unconditional love

Becky Taylor’s only friend dropped her off at the only place she thought could help. Two weeks later, Becky picked up the phone and begged her friend to come and get her. It was the summer of 2014. She thought she couldn’t take being there any longer. The friend said no. There was no one else to call. So Becky had to stay.

“I was angry,” she said. “But deep down, I knew what I didn’t want was exactly what I needed.”

A life of heroin addiction and violence had taken its toll. She lied, stole, and hurt a lot of people. She had been married and divorced three times, and lost custody of all six of her children. A year later, she graduated from the One Eighty residential program. Today, Becky is on staff at One Eighty. She manages the candle-making business, is launching a commercial cleaning business, and is the night and weekend supervisor at the women’s house.

And she knows she is loved unconditionally.

Becky’s childhood was hard. She started drinking at 14, and was married and pregnant by 18. Her first husband physically abused her. He beat her so badly when she was pregnant with her fourth child that she knew she had to leave. Her second husband was even worse, she said. They owned a bar together, where she bartended. He would beat her, to the point where she could barely move, then he would give her pain pills so she could work the bar. Her third husband emotionally abused her.

“I sunk into a hole, I didn’t care who I was hurting. I had no education, no job, no nothing…no self-esteem,” she said. “I hit bottom.”

Heroin was part of her life. Addiction to the drug was, too. She met a woman at a domestic violence shelter and they became friends. It is that friend who dropped her off at One Eighty two and a half years ago. “She never gave up on me. There had never been anyone in my life who didn’t give up on me.”

When her friend declined to come and get her, Becky got to work. One of her most important goals was to earn her GED. She studied and studied. Tutors and others at One Eighty cheered her on. “All of that support is what did it.” Becky passed.

Meanwhile, she attended One Eighty’s daily Bible studies, classes, and employment program. When she relapsed, the people at One Eighty stood by her. “Somebody loving me unconditionally? I never had that. I have that here.”

When asked about what her dreams are, Becky paused. “God has got me in such a wonderful place here. I always wanted to help somebody in the situation I was in. I have the chance to show others that I was there, too. And look at where I am today.”

Gaining skills

One Eighty’s work program includes six employment enterprises. They are windows and siding, candle making, commercial cleaning, gardening, design, and painting. The enterprises train residents for future job opportunities, equip them with job preparation skills, close job gaps on resident resumes, and provide operating funds for One Eighty.

The St. Paul Book Corner carries the candles made by the people who are a part of the One Eighty residential program. St. Paul will support One Eighty with a donation of $3,000 in 2017. One Eighty’s cleaning enterprise will soon care for some of St. Paul’s spaces.

To learn more about One Eighty and its enterprises, and to take a video tour of the campus, visit www.oneeighty.org.

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Daniel 12:1-3

The Time of the End

1“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Hebrews 10:11-25

11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HISENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM

AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:

I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,

AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

Mark 13:1-8

Things to Come

1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”5And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.6“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.7“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.8“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Daniel 7:9-14

9“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10“A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

11“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;

The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;

Holiness befits Your house,

O LORD, forevermore.

Revelation 1:-4-8

John 18:33-37

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”