In his own words Mike tells us how he found freedom at a United Way-funded organization aptly named Freedom Foundation.
My name is Mike and I have battled drug and alcohol addictions since my early teens. After an overdose in November 2019, I finally made the decision to reach out for help. I was completely broken, bruised, and battered.
I started attending local 12-step programs and someone there suggested I call Freedom Foundation to see about a bed. It was getting close to Christmas and the house was already full, but I was encouraged to check back. So, I started calling every other day. Each time I called, I was spoken to with compassion and understanding.
I honestly believe it was that encouragement that helped me stay clean for 46 days while I was waiting for a bed to become available. When I got the call that they would like to offer me a spot, I was brought to tears.
On January 15, 2020, I was welcomed into Freedom Foundation, and for the first time in a long time, I had a safe place to lay my head.
Freedom Foundation was nothing like any place I had been before. I would meet weekly with my case worker to talk about rebuilding my life from the ground up. I was expected to attend 12-step meetings regularly, find a sponsor, and do my assigned chores. There was structure and routine right off the hop.
In my third month at Freedom Foundation, COVID-19 hit, and we went into lockdown along with the rest of the world. It was a scary time for me, but I was grateful to have a home to ‘stay home’ in. For two and a half months we stayed safe inside – groceries were delivered, drive-by birthday parties were the norm, and 12-step meetings moved to Zoom. In fact, it was a during these Zoom meetings where my recovery really began to thrive. By the time the lockdown ended, I was ready to look for work and it wasn’t long before I found the job I still have today.
With full-time employment and one year clean, I moved into Freedom Foundation’s Phase 4 – independent living. Wow — from nearly dead at the end of a driveway to having two bank accounts, my health, and a purpose in life. In November, I’m looking forward to celebrating two years clean – hopefully in-person this time.
I feel I have taken full advantage of what Freedom Foundation has to offer, and that’s FREEDOM. I was given direction, I was given options, but most importantly, I was given a chance.