An unfortunate reality is that drug and alcohol abuse are a part of life for many of our neighbors in the Miami Valley. Thankfully, we have also seen many stories of recovery throughout the community. Two of those success stories specifically credit the support from St. Vincent de Paul as critical to their sobriety and the better way of life they now enjoy.
Thanks to St. Vincent de Paul’s permanent supportive housing ministry, Gene and Mark are both sober today, and are safely housed in a community living arrangement. Prior to this, both men spent time in the men’s shelter over the years as they faced periods of homelessness. The safety net provided by the shelter ministry is often a person’s first interaction with the ministries of St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton, as was the case for both Gene and Mark.
Mark, a lifelong resident of Dayton, shared his story with us and said, “In my past, I chose the street for various reasons. Drugs had a hold on me and I wasn’t making good decisions.” Gene agreed. “I didn’t even realize I had a purpose in life,” he said.
Today, both men see a new life purpose for themselves. They are focused on helping others—something they had no ability or even desire to do in their old way of life. Each man has more than a year of sobriety, and both are pursuing an important official designation in their efforts to help others, the Peer Recovery Supporter Certificate. This certification allows them to help those suffering from addiction in an official, professional capacity as a support counselor, and gives them even more tools to help people in their day-to-day lives.
Gene said, “The stability of my living arrangement, thanks to St. Vincent, allows me to focus on my sobriety. That has to be the most important thing.” When asked what they want people to know about their life changes, Mark replied, “I can recognize Christ in every person. I have struggled, but now I can speak about Jesus to people, and I can help people who are still suffering in addiction.”
Thank you for your support in helping these gentlemen escape addiction and allowing them to show others a new path!