Why South Carolina Recovery Housing Association?
I remember when starting Freedom Recovery Center, I had no idea what I was getting into. Our first house was a defunct halfway house back in 2011. The owner had passed away with 25 years in recovery. His widow not only wanted the house to continue but needed rental income also. I reluctantly volunteered to help; after all when we are asked to do something of service in recovery, we do it.
We started this to help a few guys transition from detox and treatment, to becoming men in long term recovery. It wasn’t long before I wondered what I had signed up for. Was I crazy? Had I lost my mind? Many of these guys showed up with only the clothes on their backs. They needed jobs, transportation to those jobs, help getting to recovery meetings and mentorship. To put it bluntly they needed a lot.
I remember the first year being a Lone Ranger. I was sleeping with the phone by my bed with it ringing sometimes at 3 AM; someone had a reoccurrence and needed to be dealt with. I would get him settled in the hospital in time to start getting the other guys to their jobs, generally starting around 5 AM. There was always one or two that we just couldn’t find employment for so we tried to keep them busy by volunteering within the neighborhood and community. I had walked away from my job because there was no way to maintain all of this while working.
This in itself was a full time position and more. I came to see this not as a job but as a calling as I watched more and more men turn their lives around and find fulfilling and useful lives in long term recovery. At some point, some lonely kid with nothing but the clothes on his back and nowhere to go, would pick up a 90 day or 6 month chip, keep a job, start cleaning up after himself, and watching out for the next new guy. I would come over for them to say, “I picked up my chip tonight and there is no way I could have done it without your help and this house”. I recall one guy in the early days telling me he had lived in and out of abandoned homes and hadn’t had a true home his whole adult life until he came to us. I was done, all in, and there was no way I was quitting now. Thank God my wife supported and encouraged me.
That’s why we need organizations like the South Carolina Recovery Housing Association, an organization developed to encourage and support recovery housing operators in South Carolina. This is hard work and at times very under appreciated. Whether you are looking to begin recovery housing or need training, assistance, or just mentoring, we are here to assist you. We are an inclusive network of providers that want to help.
After all, we always need beds for those suffering from Substance Use Disorder in our state. Your work is important and will be recognized as that among peers who do this everyday. Although Freedom House has grown to become Freedom Recovery Center, a well respected program in its community and has helped hundreds of men and women find long term recovery, there were many hard won experiences along the way. Providers like myself and others are here for you.
Written By: Mike Todd