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Miracle Club’s Galato Resumes After 2-year Covid Delay

Director shares her own recovery story

Julia Miles, Executive Director of The Miracles Club (Photo by Mark Washington)

At the lowest point of her life, Julia Mines was sent to prison for drug use. But then she got out, went through years of recovery programs, got sober, earned two masters degrees, and now runs the agency that helped her on that path.

Mines is executive director of the Miracles Club, a job she has held for three years after getting sober and going to school and getting a masters degree in management and leadership, and later on another masters in social work.

“Miracles is where I had to come to be in a clean and sober place so I wouldn’t venture down the old streets that I used to venture down,” she said.

Thousands of people have been helped in the Miracles Club 25-plus years of existence, and to celebrate rebuilding many lives, restoring families and renewing their communities, on Dec. 10 the nonprofit will hold its annual Magic of Miracles fundraiser at Crowne Plaza Portland, 1441 NE Second St. from 7 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are available at the Miracles Club website, miracles

The event, originally planned for 2019, was to be a 25th anniversary celebration for Miracle’s Club, but was delayed for two years because of the pandemic.

So this year’s gala will celebrate a “25-year-plus” anniversary for the Miracle Club, Mines said, and she invites everyone to “come dressed to slay and ready to play as we celebrate recovery in PDX.”

The gala will include a raffle, plated dinner and dancing to DJ Surrender and more, Mines said.

“It’s just for us to get together and show all the magic that has happened here in the last 27 years,” she said. “A lot of people got clean here and I don’t have the exact number, but I’d say it’s in the thousands.”

Tickets for the fundraiserare $100 for a single seat or $3,000 for a table for eight that includes “front row seating, a ‘shout-out’ at the event, their logo on the program and website, and a gift bag and a raffle ticket.” The single ticket includes dinner and a raffle ticket.

Miracles Club offers a wide spectrum of services for those trying to escape from drug addiction, with a mission to “provide a safe, clean, and sober environment for individuals seeking a lifestyle free from alcohol and drugs.”

Many families have been impacted by drug addiction, Mines said, and the Miracles Club can help.

“We’ve got clean and sober housing, permanent housing, and transitional housing,” she said. “We have 82 units for permanent or transitional housing if you just need a stepping stone, or if you want to live here permanently.We have a clean and sober transitional house for African American men and on Dec. 1,we will open a transitional house for women.

“They’re both in northeast Portland in gentrification areas,” Mines said, “so we’re trying to bring folks back to the communities that they grew up in.”

In addition, Miracles Club offers certified recovery mentors through its Peer Services to provide “nonjudgmental emotional support and guidance for individuals seeking help with their recovery,” states the website.

Peer Services can connect clients with resources for housing transportation, education, employment, medical and dental care as well as referrals to other services. Peer Services is oriented to a community-based recover for clients, as well as providing advocates for the criminal justice system, child welfare or other institutions.

Although Miracles Club’s focus is the perennially underserved African American community, no one is turned away, and anyone from 18 to 100-plus is welcome, she said.

“We cater to the African American recovering community but we’re not limited to that and we don’t turn anybody away,” she said.

“But we came about because there was always some sort of problem in the white recovery clubs,” she said.

The agency has touched many recovering addicts and their families over the years. “Ask anybody in recovery and they will tell you they’ve come here,” she said.

Mines’ own journey didn't start with Miracle’s Club, and it seems a miracle that she’s overcome so much in her own life, now leading an agency that helped her along the way.

“I didn’t get involved right away,” she said. “I had just got out of prison, and I had a journey.”

She started out at Stay Clean, “an African American inner city spiritual program for the late stage addict,” she said, and later was a client of Central City Concern for over 11 years, was involved inSelf Enhancement Inc. for about two years and also found other helpful resources, including the Empowerment Clinic, Volunteers of America and the I Am Academy.

But once she got sober, she found her path.

“To be where I wanted to be I couldn’t be stagnant,” she said. “I had to get an education, I had to get certification and so I took my time and I was watching other folks go to school, so I said, ‘Well, why can’t I go to school?’”

In 2008 Mines started college and 10 years later had a masters degrees in management and leadership. She later received her masters in social work. She then went on to become a certified mentor supervisor and a qualified mental health professional.

“So all by the grace of the Creator and ancestors and recovery, I’ve been able to stand on my own feet…trying to fly as high as I can,” she said. “So this is where I landed — the place that helped me spread those wings.”



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