Operation Empower was founded in 2005 as a 501c3 non- profit organization that supported the Manasseh House 19- unit SRO permanent housing project because there was not enough housing for single women. The board consisted of 5 individuals. Manasseh House opened in 2007 and in 2010 Salvia Apartments, an 18-unit SRO housing project was built. The decision was made in 2016 to utilize Manasseh House for men and continue using Salvia Apartments for women. In 2018 funding was pursued to build a project utilizing affordable housing undergirded with recovery services for those with substance use disorders called Liberty Recovery Community. We are now in the planning and building process.
Operation Empower is a 501c3 that operates two affordable housing projects for men and women and is launching a third one called Liberty Recovery Community.
2007 – Manasseh House, is a permanent supportive affordable housing project for single men located at 2080 Elm Street, Dubuque, Iowa. It was built, established and opened in 2007. We serve residents that are in recovery, poverty, domestic abuse situations, homeless, disabled, and those that have a mental diagnosis. Our projects were created for those that need safe, affordable housing. We offer help in many ways; referrals, supportive services, transportation, employment assistance, etc. Manasseh House promotes a sober living environment.
Manasseh House is a beautiful apartment building with hardwood floors, ceramic tile tastefully decorated. The entire building is kept very clean. The units consist of one large size room for residents with a small refrigerator, closet, bed, and furniture. All utilities are paid including Wi-Fi, land line phone, coin-ops, and off street parking. The community rooms consist of an exercise room, restrooms, and two T.V. rooms, kitchen, laundry rooms, and large community room with kitchen. Refrigerators, freezer and cabinet space is provided to residents in the kitchen.
2010 – Salvia Apartments, located at 2160 Elm Street is a permanent supportive affordable housing project for single women. We provide an affordable, safe, clean, peaceful, sober environment for ladies. Our housing projects are beautiful and well maintained. Our neighborhood is walking friendly, where you can walk in any direction and find needed amenities close by such as bus stops, banks, grocery store, retail shopping, pharmacies, fast food establishments, convenience stores, etc. Amenities are laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, land line phone, recreation room, two T.V. rooms, kitchen, loft, restrooms, patio areas, etc.
The units have refrigerator, bed, closet, and furniture. Refrigerators and cabinet space is provided to every tenant for food storage.
“Where people once saved money, we will build social capital and save lives.” Michelle Mihalakis
2020 – Liberty Recovery Community is located at 2216 White Street, Dubuque Iowa. The proposed project plans on melding affordable housing with recovery services for our residents. We have finished phase 1 of our building project by completing the demolition of the bank drive-thru canopy. Starting in the spring of 2020 we will begin phase 2 by breaking ground for Liberty Place Apartments. We will build 24 single occupancy apartments for people that have substance use disorders. Adjoining this new housing edifice is a vacant but beautiful bank building consisting of 4300 square feet. It will be rehabbed to create space for groups, therapies, education, social functions, etc.
When people come out of treatment, jails, outpatient, drug courts, corrections, they many times have severed prior relationships, negative employment, rental, and crime histories that impede their success. Liberty Recovery Community will provide quality aftercare for those in recovery through housing, education, employment, and recovery oriented services of care in a safe community setting so our residents can find healing and empowerment to succeed and give back to the community.
“Addicts need a community like bees need a hive.”