I am the former Executive Director of a non-profit providing re-entry services to those leaving jail and returning to the community called Crime Prevention Institute (CPI). In 2013, I volunteered to coordinate end of life care for a former CPI client who had turned his life around and had 10 years sober, but whose body had given out, and whose family had given up. I was with him when he died, and I helped coordinate a funeral with military honors. He said to me, “You had a hell of a team there at CPI, if I had any money I would leave it all to you to restart CPI.” And ever since then I’ve been banging on my laptop and meeting with people trying to figure out how. Because I did have a hell of a team with a hell of a mission and we did great work. And it’s still needed. Finding a place to live and work when you are recovering from addiction or restarting your life with a criminal history is damn near impossible….and if you can’t live or work, how will you be successful?

But, it’s time for me to rethink sustainability of that model and that work. A little non-profit highly reliant on government funds fell apart…and I don’t see much evidence it would be any different today. What’s needed is innovation and some private funds. So, I’ve decided to create a business…a for profit business…that will seek to provide opportunities for a second chance, a fair chance, for those who have stumbled and are trying to get it right. I seek to provide sober living and employment opportunities for these individuals, and build small businesses that will eventually become private funding streams for some social work services that can help individuals stay sober, stay employed, seek treatment, address past trauma, and contribute to the community.

I named it Adastra, because Ad Astra is Latin for “to the stars.” My hope and vision is that the clients we serve will be able to reach their highest potential, in ways they even might not have thought possible. A contribution to Adastra for start up funds will not provide you with an investment return or a tax deduction. But, it will provide you with a tangible way to give back, an honoring of my former client Randy’s life, and my sincerest gratitude.

Start Up Adastra Enterprises

Randy and Sara Hickman, local Austin musician, and amazing hospice volunteer