Men accepted into Guiding Light are required to carry out long-term personal development projects throughout their four-month stay at the mission. These are designed for men to visualize a goal with regards to their vision for a new life, and to work with Guiding Light staff and their peers to help realize them. Some of these projects may be conceived with regards to health, such as losing a certain amount of weight or being able to exercise a certain number of times during the week. They might be related to developing one’s spirituality and creating a closer connection with God. They also might be related to personal lives, such as creating a stronger relationship with one’s children or spouse.
“I just want to point out, these don’t have to be big projects,” Case Manager Seth Velderman said. “The idea of these projects is to create some awareness and push you to the edge of your comfort zone. The secondary benefits or the after-effect of actually doing these is so much more than the actual project itself.” Recovery staff members work with clients from day one of their admittance into the program to create a vision for their future. Vision, meaning a goal, a light at the end of the tunnel, of what they want their life to look like in sobriety. It is incredibly difficult, in the early days, weeks, and months of recovery from an addiction to drugs and alcohol, to find any compelling reason to believe that there is hope in the future. This is why our staff works closely with clients to create realistic and achievable benchmarks along with ways they can measure and validate that clients are indeed getting better. So often, when men come through the doors of Guiding Light, they are at the lowest and darkest point of their lives. Being able to construct a goal, no matter how simple or unembellished it may seem, and to take real steps towards achieving it throughout their time here is an immensely positive and powerful motivation to stay the course.
For the men that do stay the course at Guiding Light Recovery, their future truly is bright and worth fighting for. 78% of clients that follow the suggestions and guidance of our staff achieve long-term sobriety of a year or longer. These are men that stay in the program for four months, find employment, and move to our sober living community in Kentwood, Iron House. It is important to point out that our success rate for men in the Recovery program is remarkably high. A 2007 study conducted by the social-research journal, Evaluation Review, showed that only 33% of men who attempt to get sober on their own are able to maintain it for over a year.  These statistics are only possible because of the emphasis placed on long-term care for our clients. Our philosophy is not based on treating men struggling with addiction over a period of months, but over a period of years.
The freedom we are afforded to invest and target our resources towards individual men and their sobriety is only possible because of you. Our donors, our advocates, our volunteers, you make this possible. From all of our clients and staff, from all of those who have been touched by Guiding Light and had their lives saved, we cannot thank you enough for all that you do for us. God bless, from the bottom of our hearts, we are so very grateful for you.
 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