A big part of the Guiding Light Recovery program is helping the men break down stereotypes surrounding homelessness and addiction. Stereotypes, however inaccurate or unfair they are, have men thinking they are not contributing to society, that they are only taking what is handed out to them and giving nothing back. Those who know first-hand or have had a chance to work with others that have fallen on hard times know that this is not the truth, and realize that the realities of homelessness, unemployment, and substance-abuse in our society can affect all strata of socio-economic class and does not discriminate.
At Guiding Light, we seek to actively break the perpetuation of this stereotype not so much for the outsider looking in, but for our clients themselves living in our facility. Many men, when they arrive at the doors of Guiding Light, are incredibly demoralized. One of our former Recovery clients put it more succinctly when he said, “we don’t usually come here on a winning streak.” Indeed, having to live in a shelter and come to terms with the fact that you need help can be very difficult, especially for men, to admit to others, let alone to themselves. At Guiding Light, we seek to empower our clients to take control of their own destiny, to own their position in life, and to give them the tools to rebuild their sense of value and self-worth again. These men, regardless of their past trials and tribulations, are taking the action to better themselves and to reach their God-given potential. It is something to be proud of, not ashamed of, and we try to facilitate this.
When Michigan winters come around, men enrolled in our Recovery program take on the responsibility and make sure that our sidewalks in Heartside are maintained and looked after. Some days our clients wake up as early as four in the morning to shovel and salt the sidewalks. It is one way to give back, to be productive in society, and to feel part of something bigger. As menial or trivial as it may seem; shoveling walks, picking up trash, disciplining your image, and looking after your community are huge steps for men to feel a sense of purpose in life again.
The Guiding Light Recovery program gives men a chance to put the pieces of their lives back together. It provides them the means to become self-sufficient again and to find a way of life beyond addiction. It costs roughly $300 a day to house, feed, and teach a man in our program, and thanks to the generosity of people like you, we are able to provide this to our clients completely free of financial burden. The only cost for men to become enrolled at Guiding Light is their willingness to change. For that, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you so very much for all that you do for us.
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