Hank has been a client at Guiding Light Recovery for a little under five months and was the first client accepted into our program after we resumed accepting intakes in May. Men accepted into the Recovery program are not allowed to be employed and instead have to take time to work on themselves and their sobriety. After four months, the next step for Recovery clients is to look for employment. It is at this time that our clients work with our partners at Goodwill to attend their two-week Achieve program, which is designed to “transform lives by preparing individuals for securing and maintaining future employment.”
It is important for a man trying to get back on his feet after gaining sobriety to be able to find a stable, well-paying and fulfilling job again. Hank’s experience in Achieve helped him to get prepared for his next step at Guiding Light: finding work, saving money, and moving out of 255 Division Avenue. “They help you build a resume from scratch, a cover letter, they get you familiar with writing thank you letters for interviews. They help with your references, they have workshops that get you ready for the real world. It wasn’t just helping you write up a document to get a job, its real-life stuff.”
Hank recently graduated Achieve and had his first job interviews today with two local manufacturing companies. “The interviews went really well, the first one I had with the plant manager and he walked me around the facility, asked me a few questions, and showed me what positions were available,” he said. “The second one was more of a formal interview. I sat down with the HR director and production lead and they asked me about my experience.” With a background in manufacturing work, Hank was quickly able to find offers from local employers and companies once he started putting his resume out. Hank is moving on to one of the most important and delicate phases of the program, the transition back to real life. At Guiding Light, men are given time to stabilize themselves and their sobriety, and are then gradually re-introduced to the world “on the outside.”
For men like Hank, getting a job and becoming self-sufficient again is a big first step to learning to live a different way. Once employed, his plan is to move to Iron House, our sober living community in Kentwood. Iron House provides a community of his peers in Recovery and a supportive environment. It is the best option for someone like Hank, a recovering heroin user, as 77% of men that move to Iron House stay sober for a year or longer. When asked about how he feels about taking this next step, Hank says that he is “excited but also really nervous, I’ve been in Guiding Light for five months. Coming from the safety of knowing I’m in here where I spent all my time just working on myself, to now looking for work and going out into the real world…this is where the rubber hits the road.” One of the most crucial aspects of Guiding Light Recovery is setting men up for success and for long-term sobriety. Being able to find a job and save money while staying in the sheltered environment at 255 Division Avenue gives men a chance to really prepare for their new lives. Hank is following in the footsteps of countless men that today, have long-term sobriety after coming to Guiding Light, finding work, and moving to Iron House.
It is important to note that none of this would be possible without the resources we are able to provide men like Hank over their stay at Guiding Light. Besides giving men a safe place to recover from addiction, a warm bed and three meals a day, we also offer regular access to therapists, spiritual directors, life coaching, and trained staff members. We put a lot in to help men that want it, and to show them that living a different way, free from the bondage of addiction to drugs and alcohol, is actually possible. None of this would be possible without the generous support of our donors, volunteers, and advocates. From the bottom of our heart, thank you for giving men like Hank a second chance at life, it wouldn’t be possible without you. 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