Michael and Mark have been in the Guiding Light Recovery program for 4 months. When first admitted into the program, clients are not employed so that they learn to focus all of their time and energy on one thing – their sobriety. Learning how to get their mind right, giving their bodies time to heal, and becoming spiritually in tune with God are the first steps in recovering from addiction. However, when they are ready, we encourage our clients to begin looking for employment and begin the process of gradually reintroducing themselves back into life. Finding a job that is meaningful, fulfilling, and dignified, is the next big step for clients who have completed Foundations, the first four months of the Recovery program.
Today, Michael and Mark are taking that step and are participating in their first online session with our partners at Goodwill to attend the Achieve program. Achieve is a program designed to “transform lives by preparing individuals for securing and maintaining future employment.” Men work individually with career coaches, attend small group workshops to discuss and develop resumes and job search tools, as well as interview techniques. They also work with large group workshops focused on team building, communication skills, goal setting, raising self-confidence, handling stress, and more. “They help you with your resume and fine tune it,” Mark said. “They taught me the importance of cover letters, writing thank-you cards for interviewers…I’ve done this all in the past of course before but I brought to Achieve, my work experience, my old resumes, and they’ve really helped me fix things to best showcase my skills and qualifications.” The purpose of having our Recovery clients attend Achieve is to give them a chance to prepare for the real world outside of Guiding Light. Being able to find steady employment and being able to hit the ground running after they leave here is important to ensure that men achieve real, long-term sobriety. “Just being here is a blessing,” Michael said. “I didn’t have the financial means to come here on my own…whether I like it or not, the donors made this possible.” Once these two men start working, they will continue to live on-site with their peers at Guiding Light and save enough money to move out to Iron House, Guiding Light’s sober living community in Kentwood.
When it comes to achieving long-term sobriety, Mark and Michael are doing everything right and following in the footsteps of countless other success stories that have come before him. 76% of men who come through Guiding Light, find employment, and move to Iron House, will stay sober over a year. These statistics are 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 really does work, and the numbers show it. The only cost for men to come through our social outreach programs 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. Thank you for helping men like Michael and Mark restore themselves to their God-given potential.
[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