Jay Cupit, Director of The Other Side Ministry (TOS) in Wilburn was the presenter at the July 18 meeting of the Rotary Club of Heber Springs.  Mr. Cupit first thanked the club for the recent special grant presented to The Other side last April. The grant was used to put a new metal roof over one of the buildings on campus that badly needed repair.
The Other Side, a faith based live-in drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has had 31 graduates in the last year, and a total of 50 as they begin their third year of service. Mr. Cupit told of the great things happening at TOS, telling of individual lives and families who have been restored through participation in the program. He mentioned the most fulfilling scene in the last year to him was the opportunity to see children celebrating Christmas with their fathers, and due to the generosity of donors, those fathers able to present gifts to their children, in some cases for the very first time.
There are currently 40 residents at TOS, from 18 to 69 years of age. Thirty of those men are in Phase 1, and 10 in Phase 2. Each of the Phases is a 6-month live-in program, but while Phase 1 keeps the men on campus to build their foundation and ensure success, Phase 2 allows residents the opportunity to begin to incorporate back into society, by taking jobs off campus and saving money toward their life after the program. The Other Side Ministry uses Romans 5:1 as the basis of all they do: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Mr. Cupit said that these men have often sought peace outside themselves through drugs, alcohol and other addictions, but the program teaches that the only true peace will be found in Jesus Christ. And the program is working. Currently they have a success rate of 81%, compared to secular programs whose success rates average 12%.
The Other Side’s residents also do community service work, which Mr. Cupit referred to as “Kingdom work.” For the elderly, disabled, or others in need, they have built wheelchair ramps, helped with yard work, roofing jobs and many other services. It is integral to what they do, and allows residents to “give back” to communities where they may have taken so much in the midst of their addictions. Mr. Cupit said, “The mission field most missed is the one right in our own back yard.”
Future plans for TOS include opening a thrift store in downtown Heber Springs to support the program. They are also working with another group to secure a location for a women’s program to complement the men’s program in Wilburn. Called “Daughters of The Other Side,” or DOTS, this program will serve women who are also trying to overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Mr. Cupit concluded his presentation with remarks about the “astounding” level of support they have received from the local community in their efforts. They survive solely on donations and community support to the tune of approximately $14,000 per month and could not do the work they do without the support they have been given.
The Object of Rotary is "to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise." The Rotary Club of Heber Springs meets each Tuesday at noon on the ASU-Heber Springs Campus. For more information about the Rotary Club of Heber Springs, please visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/TheRotaryClubofHeberSpringsAR.