From addiction to a new life!
by Melanie Windecker, Administrator
Cornerstone Mission has been working with a gentleman over the last few years through whatever engagement he chose throughout the years when he would come in to get a cup coffee or wait to use the showers or would show up in the evening for dinner. He has been chronically homeless for years and struggles with addiction. This gentleman has entered our shelter program a couple of times in the past. This gentleman does struggle with addiction.I would like to share my experiences working with this gentleman. I share his struggle and put to light to the question, why?
This gentleman started out his young adult life, as most of us do, working hard then married and then then they had a son. When his son was 5 he lost his son to a tragic accident. Unable to deal with the death of his son, he numbed his pain in addiction. His addiction and apathy lead to the loss of job, wife and home. He simply stopped caring if he lived or died. He had burned through every supportive relationship he had. He felt that, “once you get down this low, it’s hard to get back up.” He believed there was no way out; he told himself that he doesn’t deserve another chance, he will never break free from addiction, he will always be a failure.
I would like to share a letter that he wrote to Cornerstone Mission:
“These are things that I am grateful for which I would not have received if it wasn’t for the staff and volunteers at Cornerstone Mission. I am grateful for the volunteers who come and cook meals for every person that has come through the doors. I am grateful that staff didn’t give up me even though I at times failed to achieve some of the goals I set for myself and I would mess up.I am grateful that I gave the program another chance and God has convinced me that He has put people and this program in my path, because I can’t do this by myself. I can’t thank God enough for all of the good and bad things that have happened throughout my life! Because both of them, bring me closer to God!I know that I am to blame, for all of the bad decisions throughout my life, I know you have always been there, even though my mind was elsewhere.”
I hope this helps some understand the, “why”. Why are people homeless? Why don’t people try to stop using? Why don’t they do something for themselves? A significant barrier to recovery often lies in the ability to restore trust and maintain healthy relationships. Treatment programs are needed that will treat the root causes of addiction and help men and women find a way back home. More than anything,those struggling with chronic homelessness and addiction need hope.