Local business owner opens recovery house

Photo credit: MCT Tribune News Service

By Isabella Maso | Reporter

Summer Shine is just what her name describes: a bright, energetic, bundle of personality.

Shine is the owner and operator of Luna Juice Bar, but she has also recently opened a recovery house in Waco for women battling drug and alcoholic addiction.

Shine had a tumultuous past with lesser drugs and alcohol throughout her teenage years, and on the eve of her 26th birthday, she ventured into hard drugs for the first time.

Now 38, Shine has turned her life around and is celebrating over three years of sobriety. When analyzing what she could do for the community, Shine thought that there was a lack of places for women to turn to when needing help.

“My husband and I have always had a passion for helping people in recovery,” Shine said. “There is a hole in our community in regards to houses for women to live in when they are in the early stages of recovery. In an effort to gap that hole, we talked with our landlord and talked them into buying a home, fixing it up and letting us house five women in it.”

Shine said there are rules as part of living in the house: the women have to have a job, pay rent, follow nightly curfew and maintain an overall sense of good behavior.

Shine describes it as “independent living with an aspect of accountability.”

While there are rules, Shine does not believe in “zero-tolerance” policies.

“I actually hate the term ‘zero-tolerance.’ I don’t believe that is Christ-like behavior,” Shine said. “If there were zero-tolerance policies implemented in my life, I would not be in the position that I’m in today.”

Those that know Shine describe her to be the person who picks everyone else up.

“In general, I would definitely describe her as sunshine. I know that sounds funny and it’s a play on words, but she is like a ball of sunshine,” said Aprille Mclaughlin, operational manager for Luna Juice Bar. “Even when she has those days when it seems like things are failing, she finds that reason to be happy and find the positives in things.”

As far as the opening of the recovery house, Mclaughlin said she believes that if anyone were to do this, it would be Shine.

“Everyone needs a fresh start sometimes and why not have someone like Summer with her story, and to see how far she had fallen to come up to where she is now,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a great example, and it shows other people that it is possible.”

Aside from running Luna Juice and the recovery house, Shine is also involved in the NPR station and Baylor-funded KWBU.

KWBU membership manager Loretta Howard believes that Shine is a valuable asset to the volunteers.

“For everything she has gone through personally and what she is able to do with her business now is amazing,” Howard said. “As a volunteer, she brings the positivity and helps boosts morale. I also love that she brings the juice.”

Howard also commented on the person that Shine has become over the years.

“I’ve known her for a long time ,and to see the person on the other side of her struggles is remarkable. I am blessed that she is a friend of mine,” Howard said.

If Baylor students want to get involved with the recovery house, Shine said they are always accepting donations for things such as toiletries, detergent and everyday household items.