"Today, I am full-time employed and a house manager. I am a positive role model in recovery and I am in my children's lives of standards"
My name is John G I wanted to tell you a little about my story. I went to Steps 4 Life Community Services men's home. Through Steps 4 Life, I have been able to accomplish many things, I had only dreamed about. Today, I am in my daughters lives and am being responsible for my past debts. I am a productive member of society. I am on no public assistance due to learning how to budget my money. Life was not always this way for me. In my addiction, I was jobless and homeless. I had no faith in myself. Through positive guidance and my brothers for support, I can accomplish all the goals I have set for myself. I look forward to seeing you at Steps 4 Life.
"Steps 4 life changed my life..."
It gave me the foundation to build upon. The rules seem unreasonable at first but I came to realize that they were set in place only to help me. After finding Steps 4 Life, I decided to change... And when I say change, I mean I changed EVERYTHING! I changed the way I spoke to people, the way I handled altercations, the way I dressed and presented myself, the way I talked around children and my elders... I changed what I sought out in men... I made new friends and let go of people from my past. I transformed into a new being and found a new way of life and it all began at Steps 4 Life. We as addicts do not like change but in actuality, it is absolutely necessary in order to beat this thing called addiction. And that's what I did.
"The journey may not always be easy, but the destination is so worth it. "
Hi my name is Sarah T. I have been a member of the Steps 4 Life Community since the initial stages of its inception. When I first met the founder Cynthia McGuigan I was in my last phase of residential treatment trying to find a safe exit plan. I was also not a California resident, however, the parole office owned my number and I was not allowed to leave the state. When I introduced myself to Cynthia McGuigan, I remember feeling terrified, alone and completely helpless. I had no money, no job and my family had pretty much cut all ties with me due to the nature of my addiction and the behaviors I displayed. Cynthia, kindly acknowledged all of these feelings and gave me a chance to come in to her home with the few measly possessions. I was given clothing and hygiene’s) she gave me time to find a job so I can became stable. My determination allowed me to meet these goals and during this time I progressed in employment and had my second child. Cindy and her family were also at the hospital at delivery and she was the one who cut my daughters umbilical cord.
After some time, I moved out on my own and unfortunately stopped working a program. I lost custody of my daughter to CPS during this process. When I became willing to start working on my recovery I was welcomed back to Steps 4 Life. Through this journey I was given the support that allowed me to develop the life I cherish now. I had to learn how to do EVERYTHING! I learned responsibility with budgeting, time management and most importantly with the help of Steps 4 Life and many other sources I learned how to change my behaviors. I had a safe place that allowed me to begin developing as a functional, productive, kind and caring member of society. I have learned how to be a better mom, friend, daughter and sister. My CPS case was closed years ago and I still have custody of my daughter as well as my presently 2-year-old daughter.
Today I have completed school and am a licensed substance abuse counselor; I have my own home and other various material possessions. Most important I have AMAZING family relationships that I would have never imagined possible. I am still a member of Steps 4 Life Alumni and have enjoyed the 14-year journey. Steps 4 Life Community Services, Cynthia and the program are just as much a part of my family today as they were when I needed them 14 years ago. The journey may not always be easy, but the destination is SO WORTH IT. Having a safe place to learn new behaviors and skills is such a fundamental part of recovery!
“What Steps 4 Life has done for me"
To date, I have been at Steps 4 Life Community Services for 2 yrs and 7 months. When I arrived at Steps 4 Life I had spoken to Cindy McGuigan on the telephone briefly to set up a time to speak with her about possibly moving into her “transitional housing” home in Redlands.
I was just completing an “outpatient/aftercare” program in Lake Arrowhead. On that day I was warmly greeted and accepted into her Webster St. home. I came into Steps 4 Life with only $20.00 in my pocket, my clothes and my truck! Within days, I was given resources of where I could apply for a job, where I could apply for assistance with food from the county, as well as medical to assist me with any medical needs that I might have. I was directed to a place where I could use the computer to look for employment, update my (very outdated) resume and volunteer my time to keep my mind and my body busy. I also was shown that there were NA meetings nearby to assist me with keeping myself connected with others who also struggled with addiction.
Today, 2 yrs and 7 months later I have managed to put together 2 years, 11 months and 24 days of sobriety! I have learned the meaning of humility. And I do not mean that in a negative sense, at all! This humility and humbleness has taught me to work hard, be diligent and to appreciate everything and everyone that is in and a part of my life.
I have been employed as a “canvasser”, walking door to door making appointments for a salesman to come into your home to sell you windows etc… I did this for 8 months, earning $8.00 an hour! I’ve also been employed as a “Seasonal Kohl’s Warehouse” employee, conducting loss prevention. Although these jobs were just that “jobs”, they gave me the opportunity to pay my fees!
I’ve also learned to budget, because there have been periods of time where I was going to school Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 1 pm, and unable to work.
Which brings me to something else I’ve learned, to be humble! You see, before coming to Steps 4 Life, I had a career that earned me, sometimes more than $28.00 an hour! But I’ve learned to ask for help, because I can’t do everything on my own! I’ve had to ask Cindy to be patient with me and trust that I would pay as much fees as I could on some months. And even on other months, I’ve had to ask that she trust that would pay her as soon as I could?
I suppose I can say that Steps 4 Life has also taught me to be a woman of my word and someone that is trustworthy. Something I hadn’t had in a very long time, not with anybody!
I’ve managed to complete another branch of education, which has made it possible for me to take on building for myself, yet another career! I recently completed one year of employment with a reputable Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Only this time, I truly love what I do every day and I appreciate the chance to do it!
And lastly, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about myself and my independence. Because during this nearly 3 year period I’ve also gotten divorced from a 14 year marriage. And received the moral support that I so desperately needed to get through it…. And come out on this side of it…. Just fine!
So, with all that I’ve spoken about here, on top of soooo much more that I haven’t written about I am now a 57 year old woman, who can be very proud of myself and the woman that I am today. Steps 4 Life has given me the opportunity to be the happiest, most fulfilled and content person that I have ever been – in my entire life!
At one point in my life I thought about whether my life would end so dismally and pointlessly? Today, I look forward to everyday of my life as a mother, a grandmother, a friend and a sister…I have faith and hope that I have so much to do and contribute to this life!
Thank you Cindy, Diane and Steps 4 Life Community Services for giving me this opportunity to do something with myself. I am very grateful!