DENVER – For customers, Bud’s Warehouse is known as a home improvement thrift store helping people rebuild their homes. For Alex Padilla-Hand, the nonprofit is helping him rebuild his life.
“I had a pretty serious fight with my girlfriend and I hit her. This was in December of last year,” Padilla-Hand said.
Padilla-Hand used to live a life with different priorities.
“Smoking a lot of weed, doing drugs, drinking, and partying,” Padilla-Hand said.
But, then he found God and Bud’s Warehouse job training program. Bud’s stands for Building Unity and Dignity through Service. Addicts, felons, and folks who are homeless are learning practical skills for obtaining and keeping employment.
“Basics of work, learn to deal with a boss, learn how to deal with conflict on the job – the soft skills that lot of people take for granted, we train them in,” Jim Reiner, executive director of Belay Enterprises which oversees Bud’s Warehouse, said.
Bud’s Warehouse takes donations of building materials and resells them to support the job training program.
“We can really help people move from where they were basically unemployable to where they can get a job and keep a job and take care of their families in the future,” Reiner said.
Padilla-Hand has been part of the program for since October. He repairs, restocks, refurbishes things like cabinets, dressers, and table to be resold. But, he says Bud’s provides him with more than just training.
“What Bud’s does is they care about you as a person,” Padilla-Hand said. “We all believe in Jesus and we are all in a point of rebuilding.”
This program has been up and running for more than 20 years, but this year, Bud’s has an issue.
“We need another building. We’re looking to get another building,” Padilla-Hand said.
Over the next five years, construction crews will expand I-70 which sits just behind Bud’s Warehouse along 46th Avenue near Colorado Boulevard. Reiner believes that the reconstruction project will hamper access for customers so significantly, it’s prompting him to move the operation for first time in 10 years sometime within the next six months.
“You know, it’s kind of an all hands on deck thing to figure out how we’re going to solve this problem and get us a new home in the future,” Reiner said.
The strange thing is, once Bud’s Warehouse leaves its space, Reiner says it’s likely that it will actually turn into a warehouse for buds. The growing marijuana industry has shown interest in buildings like this especially in this area of town for plant growing operations.
“It’s definitely an ironic situation where we’ve spent the last 21 years working with folks, many of them have stumbled because of addiction issues in the past,” Reiner said.
Padilla-Hand sees the irony, but he’s okay with it.
“Them moving into this building, I don’t know, it doesn’t really affect me,” Padilla-Hand said. “God delivered me from the bonds of marijuana.”
What he’s more concerned about is finding a new home from this program. Padilla-Hand says he believes God will deliver again.
“I’m not worried. I just pray,” Padilla-Hand said.
(© 2016 KUSA)