How did Rewind, Inc. begin?
Having been involved in a jail and prison ministry for several years, Larry and Patti Refsland became painfully aware of the high rate of recidivism and relapse of addicts/alcoholics. They began to research the reasons for this and identified the most common “cracks” that people tended to fall through. Based on that information, they decided to start a transitional house that would include a process to fill in those cracks. They were already reaching out to several individuals that had been referred to them by the Ottertail County Jail program director as well as contacts from their church. Some of these individuals came to live with them at their own home. Rewind was started to help people sort of “rewind” their life and get a “do over” through mentoring, spiritual growth, educational opportunities, employment assistance, financial guidance and building new healthy relationships.
Started as a Group Residential House (GRH), they soon learned that the best results would come with 24/7 staffing which was practically impossible with the limited funding sources that were available at that time. They managed to get approved as a Residential Treatment Program and were blessed to have Harlow and Margaret Robinson join them to develop the program as well as provid some much-needed financial backing. This couple had years of experience in chemical dependency counseling and their knowledge was invaluable in the formation of the program. Other people came to help and be part of the program, offering their own life experiences and eventually a team of people became the staff at Rewind.
One opportunity that came their way was the use of a 9 bedroom/9 bath house in Bluffton, MN that was originally built as a convent next to the Catholic church in town. When some of the citizens of Bluffton learned of Rewind coming to town, it was not met with open arms. In fact, a town meeting was held and there were even protesters holding up signs at the property showing their displeasure. An article was written by Doug Grow in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about this NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude. The article generated phone calls from people in other communities offering homes that could be used if the program relocated. Fortunately, the owners of the current facility in Perham were ready to retire from many years of raising teenage foster boys. They offered the house with all the furnishings, at a reasonable rate. Since the house was located just outside of the city limits, there were no zoning laws and no nearby neighbors to oppose the program.
From there, the program slowly, but surely grew with the support of key individuals that came along at just the right time. The founders are no longer involved in the program, but still remain promoters of the program through their ongoing jail ministry efforts in several counties.
In 2007 Rewind started offering Outpatient services.
In 2012 the Outpatient building was built.
In 2013 the Women's House Program was created; developed by James Gray and Carmen Larson.
Rewind became a legal entity in November 2004. A trial version of the program started about 18 months earlier in Perham.