Hank, a Guiding Light Recovery client, is beginning the next step of his journey in the program. Men accepted into Guiding Light Recovery must spend their first four months in what is called Foundations. While in Foundations, they are required to allocate all their time to their own personal recovery from drugs and alcohol. Clients are not allowed to be employed at this time, and instead devote their schedule to attending 12-step meetings, seeing therapists, spiritual directors, and working with Guiding Light staff to work through the root causes underlying their issues with addiction. It is important for men in early sobriety to be able to dedicate themselves entirely to living in a different way and with as few distractions as possible.
After four months in Foundations, the next step for Recovery clients is to look for a job. It is important for a man trying to get back on his feet in early sobriety to be able to find stable employment again. It is at this time that our clients work with our partners at Goodwill to attend the Achieve program. Achieve is a program designed to “transform lives by preparing individuals for securing and maintaining future employment.” Men work individually with career coaches, attend small group workshops to discuss and develop resumes and job search tools, as well as interview techniques. They also work with large group workshops focused on team building, communication skills, goal setting, raising self-confidence, handling stress, and more. The purpose of having our Recovery clients attend Achieve is to give them a chance, now that they have had time to get their addiction under control, to prepare for the real world outside of 255 Division Avenue.
Being able to find steady employment and being able to hit the ground running after they leave Guiding Light is important to ensure that men achieve real, long-term sobriety. Most other substance-abuse treatment programs simply “cut you loose” upon completion. At Guiding Light, we want to make sure that our clients have everything they need to succeed in their lives after our program. Once Hank is able to find employment through the Achieve program, he is given the opportunity to move to Iron House, our own sober-living apartment complex in Kentwood. At Iron House, he will be surrounded by his peers and will have a supportive, stable, and encouraging environment within which he can restart his life. 77% of our clients that go through Foundations, graduate Achieve, find employment, and move to Iron House are able to maintain long-term sobriety for over a year. These success rates are, quite frankly, remarkable when compared to the nation-wide statistics of men and women attempting to get sober.
This is because at Guiding Light Recovery, we focus on the long-term success of our clients. Our clients are not a number, a metric, a statistic, or a paycheck; they are human beings that have fallen down and are worthy of God’s grace. Being able to help these men get back up is a truly worthwhile mission in our eyes and one that we take very seriously.
“This place saves lives, I’ve seen it happen, and that gives me hope, it really does,” Hank said. Thank you for helping us to continue on our mission of helping men in our community to reach their God-given potential one at a time. The life-changing stories and experiences that come out of Guiding Light are truly worth the investment, and we are forever grateful to you, our donors, volunteers, and advocates, for choosing to have a stake in what we do here. Thank you so much, and God bless.
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17