Ed came to our Helping Up Mission in 2011 with a decade of substance abuse in his recent past. But during that decade he probably only used a total of 2 years – because every time he’d start getting high, he would do something stupid and wind up in prison, again!
Ed wouldn’t use chemicals in prison, but once back on the streets again, it was only a matter of time before he would get arrested again. He would say that he had become institutionalized in his thinking. This lifestyle was all he knew.
But, when he got sentenced to 10 months in 2010, he realized he was approaching 50 years of age and really should consider making some changes. This time when he got released, Ed reached out to find some help and was directed here.
Because he really wanted to change, Ed managed to settle pretty quickly into our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program. After all, it wasn’t prison!
He worked hard at his daily work therapy responsibilities in our kitchen, paid attention in his classes and got help from his counselor. Ed was really changing – on the inside. But it started showing on the outside, too!
A volunteer here knew of his experience in small engine repair and hooked him up with a friend from church who owned such a business. The boss called Ed in for an interview.
The supervisor who did the interview wasn’t comfortable when Ed honestly laid out his past. People like that don’t work here! But the boss said, “Hire him.”
So after his 90-day probation period, the supervisor told Ed exactly how he felt – both then and now! “I didn’t want to hire you, but was told to do so. Now I’m glad I did. You’re the best mechanic I’ve got!”
That was 3 years ago. Ed stopped by class last week and shared this story. Today it’s good being Ed. It’s also good being honest!
One Ed at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers