Ryan was accepted into the Guiding Light Recovery program in October of 2020. He spent his first four months here devoting time and energy to his sobriety and learning how and where he would go from there. It was then that Ryan began looking for a job, enrolled in Goodwill’s Achieve program and went through two weeks of intensive job training, resume building, interview techniques, and professional development. After this he began his search for potential employers and quickly lined up several interviews, one of which was for a local manufacturing firm where he now works full-time.
Upon his employment, Ryan stayed downtown at Guiding Light, commuted by bus, and began saving up money. His next step was to save enough to pay for a security deposit and rent for a room at Iron House, Guiding Light’s sober living community in Kentwood. Iron House consists of six buildings of two-bedroom apartment units and is capable of housing up to 42 people. It is reserved exclusively for clients that came through Guiding Light programming and is a place for these newly sober men recovering from addiction to find stability, a positive environment, and a supportive community of their peers. Since all the men living at Iron House are in recovery themselves, it is relatively easy, or at least easier, to learn how to live a normal and fulfilling life in sobriety.
Reflecting back on his time here, Ryan said “what I appreciate the most about Guiding Light is how it helped me discover God and realize that I am somebody.” The Recovery program is about more than just getting sober, our goal is to teach men to live up to their God-given potential. It is not so much about guiding them how to cope with life without picking up drugs and alcohol, but about helping them to construct a life for themselves that is worth staying sober for. Today, Ryan has a good job, a place to live that he can call his own, and a life worth living.
When it comes to achieving long-term sobriety, Ryan is doing everything right and following in the footsteps of countless other success stories that have come before him. 78% of men that come through Guiding Light Recovery, find employment, and move to Iron House, will stay sober over a year. These statistics are, frankly, remarkable when contrasted with a 2007 study conducted by the social-research journal, Evaluation Review, showing that only 33% of men who attempt to get sober on their own are able to accomplish this. [i]
Guiding Light Recovery really does work, and the numbers show it. The only cost for men to be a part of this program is their willingness to change their lives for the better. We are entirely funded by private donations, and for that we are eternally grateful to our generous donors, volunteers, and supporters for helping us on to make our community a better place, one man at a time. Thank you for helping men like Ryan to become the best version of themselves.
[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