Michael entered HopeWorks’ Dismas House program in August of 2015. He was 50 years old at that time and was a self-described alcoholic with a history DUI and a battery conviction. He was also struggling with PTSD. Michael found himself in a recurring cycle of homeless episodes and incarceration due to his alcoholism. Despite this, Michael was incredibly optimistic upon entering the program.
Despite his enthusiasm the staff at Dismas started to notice some changes as the weeks went by. Michael’s mood started to decline and he lost the fire that had been in his eyes when he entered the program. Despite trying he was unable to find employment and his Parole Officer was often less than encouraging. Discouraged, Michael started drinking. This only increased his hopelessness and self-doubt, especially because he knew his freedom was on the line. Dismas House is a sober-living program and drinking and drug use are prohibited. Michael was not able to stop drinking and he was sanctioned to 90 days in jail by his Parole Officer. Unfortunately he was discharged from Dismas House.
Once released from jail, Michael continued to have a difficult time staying sober and ended up back on the streets. Michael came to the HopeWorks Day Shelter, as he had in the past, for meals and showers, but this time was different. He decided to walk up those turquoise stairs and start the screening process for Behavioral Health Services.
Michael began to engage in the Comprehensive Recovery Treatment (CRT) program. He was able to obtain housing through the HopeWorks Housing Program, began going to barber school, and attending church regularly. Michael not only completed his parole, but completed his parole early! Perhaps of greater importance, Michael is sober and actually feels stable in his sobriety. This is all new to him, and he is continuing to adapt and progress toward his goals. He now has hope and confidence.
Micheals journey is an important example of how important it is that HopeWorks offers a variety of programs. By offering a continuum of care to those who need it most individuals can find care to fit their needs no matter where they are in their personal journey.