Clients of Guiding Light Recovery, after moving to Iron House, our sober-living community in Kentwood, and achieving one year of sobriety, celebrate by putting their names on our wall of sobriety. Recently we added fifteen new names of men who have reached this goal over the past eleven months. Under ideal conditions, former clients would be able to come into the Guiding Light building in order to celebrate with other men in the program and physically nail their name to the wall. However, due to present circumstances and safety protocols under COVID-19 restrictions, we have been unable to facilitate this.
Regardless, just because they couldn’t be here to put their names up by themselves, this in no way diminishes the achievements these men have made. It is a big step for our former clients who, at one time, were completely broken by addiction and standing at the doors of Guiding Light asking for help. These are men who were willing to truly say goodbye to their past lives, not allowing it to define them, and took to heart the suggestions and instructions of the Guiding Light Recovery program. The vast majority of Americans struggling with substance-abuse issues do not ask for help, and for those that do, few make it very far (in fact, 33% is an optimistic figure[i]. For those that are truly serious and prepared to make a change, there is a light at the end of the tunnel here. 78% of men that come through our Recovery program, find employment, and move to Iron House achieve long-term sobriety. Having the privilege to put your name on the wall is not only a huge personal achievement and benchmark of success for a man personally, it is a shining example for current clients that there is hope. All of the men on the wall today were, at one point or another, in the exact same spot as the men living in Guiding Light right now. There is a way out of the darkness of addiction and into the light of life in recovery, and the wall is a symbol of this.
When it comes to tackling the issues of rising substance-abuse and homelessness among Grand Rapids men head on, our track record speaks for itself. Guiding Light’s mission in our community is one that is worth investing in, and one that we take very seriously. Since we began celebrating our client’s achievement of reaching one-year of continuous sobriety, a total of 80 men have put their names on the wall. Today more than ever, it is important to be able to provide a safe place for men to get off the streets and out of the chaos of life in active addiction. To all our donors, volunteers, and advocates, it is important to note that none of this would be possible without your support. From all of us at Guiding Light, clients and staff alike, God bless and thank you for all that you do.
[i] Dennis, M. L., Foss, M. A., & Scott, C. K. (2007). An eight-year perspective on the relationship between the duration of abstinence and other aspects of recovery. Evaluation review, 31(6), 585–612. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193841X07307771
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