GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - He has reached out to the hopeless and homeless for more than two decades. Now, the founder of a residential recovery center in Gulfport needs some help from the community.
TNT Recovery Ranch provides a welcomed oasis for those who are struggling with addictions and brokenness.
Tony Stapleton founded this unique residential recovery center after his own brother committed suicide more than 20 years ago.
"My whole goal is to give them love and hope. Give them the opportunity that they can live without being loaded or have some type of drug problem or whatever it may be," Stapleton said.
Those who come here to seek help stay for at least six months.
"I get such a kick out of watching people come in here and just turn around," said Joe Mattingly.
Mattingly came here from Kentucky for help five years ago. Then, he stayed on to help manage the place.
Residents are expected to do chores, whether it's grooming the horses or feeding the chickens. Such tasks provide something that has been missing.
"A sense of responsibility, because when they were out there on the street, they actually had no structure in their lives. By coming to the ranch, we create structure back into their lives," said Mattingly.
TNT Recovery Ranch has outlined the foundation for a new building.
"For the clients, we'll be able to do what we need to do to make their stay better while they're here at the ranch," said Stapleton.
A series of fundraising events will help raise money for the new building. Fish fry events are happening Saturday at Crossroads Christian Center on Dedeaux Road in Gulfport, and at Beauvoir in Biloxi.
"We're just excited and proud to be part of it. We think this is the best way to help a model that is already working and serves the community at so many levels," said Beauvoir Director Greg Stewart.
"I thank the Lord so much for allowing me to be able to make a difference," Stapleton said.
Again, the fund raising fish fry events to benefit the TNT Recovery Ranch are Saturday. Both events are from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Beauvoir in Biloxi and at Crossroads Christian Center on Dedeaux Road in Gulfport.