NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s a busy lunch spot in Nashville, the Jason’s Deli on West End.
Almost all of the employees have something in common and you may be surprised to find out what it is. About 65 percent of the staff and the entire management team are recovering addicts.
The deli hires from various treatment centers.
Employee Daniel Lefebvre has worked at the restaurant for nine months. He told News 2 the job has given him hope.
“I did a lot of soul searching and just decided I wanted to be someone,” said Lefebvre.
The job is a fresh start for Lefebvre and many of the employees. As general partner of the restaurant, Dennis O’Keefe explained to News 2, the movement to give people a chance to get back on their feet blossomed organically.
“The deli was open to hiring people in recovery and with that, we started realizing that more and more of the successful people that are doing really well and growing were people in recovery,” explained O’Keefe.
O’Keefe said his staff is using their past as fuel for their success and it’s working. There are more than 250 Jason’s Deli restaurants in the franchise. The West End Jason’s Deli is one of the top performers in the company.
As for O’Keefe, he has been clean for six years now. And as for Lefebvre, after spending three and a half years in rehab he is living a good life.
He was excited to share with News 2 that he just bought a new car.
“It just felt good. I just never thought I could have something that nice and that fact that I did it for myself,” said Lefebvre.
The workers say they are grateful that when they were ready to make a change, there was a place willing to give them a chance.
According to the non-profit group the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, one in every 10 Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Only 11 percent of those with addiction receive treatment.
If you would like to get help, you can call the state’s toll free number for substance use services at 1-855-274-7471.