Men that complete the Guiding Light Recovery program and find employment have the option of moving to Iron House, our sober living apartments 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 come 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.
Every two weeks, men living at Iron House attend a residential meeting to check-in with each other. Today they welcomed Erik and Christian, who recently moved into their apartments after living at our facility in downtown Grand Rapids for seven months. Guiding Light Case Manager Seth Velderman, a former Recovery program client and current Iron House resident himself, facilitated the meeting. The men were prompted with two questions:
“How do you like to be welcomed?”
“What is holding you back?”
As simple, or psychologically obscure, as questions like these may seem, they are the type of open-ended questions these men have been frequently compelled to ponder during their stay in the Guiding Light Recovery program. While very basic biological needs, such as a lack of regular sleep, as one man answered, may be holding one back. Another reason might be the difficulty one faces when dealing with a family member’s lack of understanding, or how one has yet to develop an effective way to process the emotional stress of getting sober. At Iron House, men are able to gradually transition back into a normal life, while still having the support and accountability of a community of their peers. These check-in meetings at Iron House are more than just a way for everyone to stay on the same page of day-to-day life out here, it is a way for the men to continue to support and remain cohesive and connected to each other as they move forward in their recovery.
76% of men who come through Guiding Light Recovery, find employment, and move to Iron House, will achieve long-term sobriety. This is in stark contrast to 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 maintain it for over a year.[i] Unlike most other rehabilitation programs, Guiding Light Recovery really does work, and the numbers show it. The only cost for men to come to Guiding Light 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 our mission to make our community a better place, one man at a time.
[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