Name: Jim McRoberts
Occupation: Founder and president of the Brickhouse Foundation
City of residency: Decatur
Jim, you started the non-profit Brickhouse Foundation in June. What are you most proud of the organization accomplishing so far?
I'm happy that we have opened the doors to the men that are seeking recovery from addiction, and I'm also really proud that we can begin to start filling the void in Decatur for people to receive long-term recovery. I'm actually very ecstatic that we're beginning to support a need that continues to grow, and the support from the variety of different people who have been there to give me direction, and to give me hope and strength and guidance.
The new year begins tomorrow. Do you have any goals for the foundation to accomplish in 2018?
It might sound like a lofty goal, but with God, everything is possible. We hope to have a women's home up and running so we can serve the women battling addictions in Decatur. We are also trying to have a civic center so that we can provide a central meeting place in the city to house different meetings and to be a place for the homeless women to find cold cots. There's a huge gap there in Decatur, as women don't really have a place to go at night when it's cold outside.
We'd also like to put together an ex-offender job service to help place those individuals in working environments. Those are three gaps that I'm aware need to be filled, and we're going to do everything we can to fill them.
Is the amount of community support that the foundation receives encouraging?
It's a starting point. People are starting to come out and recognize not just the need, but the opportunity that we're creating. It could have a positive ripple effect on not just the individuals who need help, but also Decatur as a whole. I feel honored.
In order to keep the foundation going, you have to wear a lot of hats. What keeps you going?
I have a passion to see the changes that each and every one of these individuals is making. It is having a positive impact on so many, and for those that are ready, it's a great opportunity to get back on your feet. To live a full, happy life. In some of these individuals, you can see the positive changes. In time, we will grow, and we will learn how to better serve the community.
Do you have any personal goals you'd like to achieve in 2018?
To be a better man, a better servant to God and to become stronger at asking for help and to become a better communicator.