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'I am making the most growth I’ve ever made in my life': Store in Sturgeon Bay offers unique experience

Posted at 8:51 PM, Dec 18, 2023
  • Video shows the business, Peninsula Traders, which is a thrift shop in Sturgeon Bay
  • Those trying to maintain sobriety through New Door Sober Living can gain work experience at the business

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2021, 94% of people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder did not receive any treatment. I’m your Door County neighborhood reporter Katlyn Holt with what groups like New Door Sober Living in Sturgeon Bay are trying to do to change that.

“Who I am in recovery is the person I was meant to be,” said Stanelle.
 
Alex Stanelle had a hard journey navigating his sobriety, until he secured a spot at New Door Sober Living.
 
“I am making the most growth I’ve ever made in my life. From being an alcoholic and an addict to being somebody other people can depend to count on,” said Stanelle.

The biggest thing for Stanelle is the founders, Angie Levens and Elijah Phillips. He says they have treated him like family.

“There isn't one person in the house or that has come into the house that isn't like a child, a brother,” said Levens.

Levens said she grew up in a chaotic environment, with parents that were addicts. 

“It's a challenging place to be as a kid when you don't realize that people are judging you based upon something that you have no control over and I want a really great community,” said Levens about her efforts to help others.

She says there is more of a need in the county than people realize, so she has decided to become a voice for those who need the help. For about a year, Levens and Phillips have operated their sober living home and this past year, decided to open a thrift shop in Sturgeon Bay.

“It is to help support and sustain the sober living house, but it's also to help people within the community,” said Levens.

With a little bit of everything and room to grow,Peninsula Tradersprovides an opportunity for those in recovery to gain confidence in themselves, while getting workplace experience. They are currently working on expanding the store’s footprint.

“Within the next couple of months to have it open and setup and kind of figure it out,” said Levens. 

For those in recovery like Stanelle, it’s an addition to the tools he has to help him through his sobriety journey.

“Who I was my entire life was affected by drugs and alcohol. I’ve always run from everything and now I'm able to deal with what life is throwing my direction,” said Stanelle.

Currently, Peninsula Traders is open Monday through Saturday from 9-5.