By Winston Murray
Two guys searching for a place to hang out, play games and socialize with friends while staying sober discovered that no such place existed in the Portland area. So they decided to do something about it. Through a mutual friend, they met business owner Stan Herman, who happened to have an empty warehouse on Mississippi Avenue near the MAX Yellow Line Albina Stop. After pitching the idea to Mr. Herman, the 4th Dimension Sober Club was born. “In recovery we talk about reaching a certain level of sobriety, ‘the great beyond’ the 4th Dimension. That is how we came up with the title of our organization” says co- founder Devon Andrade.
By January of 2013, there was excitement brewing in the sober community about creating a clean sober environment for young people recovering from drug addiction and alcohol abuse. They began to meet weekly to see what they could turn the warehouse into. The first meeting involved 4 people, now over 20 people meet weekly to organize the 4th Dimension Sober Club. “At the end of April we held a fundraiser to get the money needed to file to become an official IRS Tax Exempt 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization. We needed $1,600 and raised $3,200.” stated co-founder Winston Murray. 4th Dimension is currently in the process of filling out the IRS application, and they hope to file their application by early June and receive their tax exempt status by September 2013.
The mission of 4th Dimension is to provide a safe and fun environment for sober people. The statistics about Drug & Alcohol addiction do not paint a very good picture for people in recovery from such addiction, especially in Portland, Oregon. Here are a few that stand out:
- Worldwide, 2.5 million people die each year from drug or alcohol related death.
- In 2011 in Oregon 72% of all high school students consumed alcohol by the end of High School.
- In a recent study, 34% of all High School students in the tri-county area of Portland admitted to using alcohol in the last 30 days.
- In Oregon, 1 in 10 young adults 18-24 abuses or is dependent on 1 or more illicit drugs.
- In 2011, 148 people in the tri-county area of Portland died due to drugs or alcohol.
According to experts, “the relapse rates for addictive diseases usually are in the range of 50% to 90%, (and) the number one cause of relapse is because people end up going back to the same neighborhood, life style, friends, and activities after they get clean.”
Event Coordinator and Board Member JT Leis says “We have ping pong tables, pool tables, air hockey, video games, basketball and dodge ball on a nightly basis. We also do special events such as dances, concerts and open mic nights. On any given night we have 20-25 people in the club, on the weekends that number grows to almost 50.” The club is free for everyone, run by volunteers and community support.
Starting in June, the 4th Dimension Sober Club began hosting a regular “Community Open House” on the third Friday in June, July and August ( June 21st, July 19th, and August 16th). The open house is from 3pm-8pm. Come by, say hi and see what we are all about.
“We started this venture because a few people wanted a place to hang out and stay clean. Since opening our doors we have rapidly transitioned into a major hub for people in recovery,” states Winston Murray. “This club provides a sanctuary for individuals to better their lives.”
The 4th Dimension Sober Club is located on the northeast corner of Interstate Boulevard and Mississippi at 2410 N. Mississippi, right across the street from the Widmer Brewery. The hours of operations are 7pm-12am Sunday-Thursday and 7pm-2:30am Friday & Saturday.