Monday, November 19, 2012

Graduate Spotlight - Meet Eddie

Eddie moved into LPCS last April, coming from a halfway house.  He struggled with addiction for most of his adult life and made his money by hustling.  Eddie bounced around from friends' and families' homes after divorcing; in between, he spent time in jail for petty addiction related crimes.  Over the course of about 30 years, he never had an official home of his own with his name on the lease.

The last time Eddie was “locked up,” the friend with whom he had been staying for a few years as a personal caretaker passed away.  No one bothered to tell him, and he returned to find that all of his belongings were gone and he had no place to go.  Eddie made the decision to make life changes, which began with rehab through Habilitative Systems, eventually transferring to their halfway house.  While at HSI, he was referred to LPCS for assistance with simply obtaining his birth certificate.  Eddie did not have a home to move into, nor income for a place when his stay at HSI ended, so he contacted LPCS, working with us to apply for permanent housing and eventually moving into our Interim Housing program.

While staying at LPCS, Eddie continued to focus on his sobriety, moving at a pace that was comfortable for him, while challenging himself to move forward.  He volunteered at the Lakeview Pantry, obtained a temporary job, and attended many AA meetings in the neighborhood, steadily building his support network as he exercised his self-identified improved character.

Today, Eddie lives in his own apartment with a program for veterans that LPCS referred him to.  He was elated to finally have his name on the lease, his own keys, and mailbox.  Eddie began increasing his focus on the job search, while remaining connected to LPCS by attending dinner weekly, meeting with his case manager, and remaining connected with others in recovery.  He sees himself as someone who can give back to this community, and in fact does by listening, offering advice, and sharing his journey to sobriety with guests at the recovery meeting.

This fall, Eddie celebrated one year sober.  He came to LPCS for his one year anniversary.  While the milestone in sobriety is a big enough achievement, Eddie then achieved another significant life step: he was offered and began working the first official job he’s had in over 20 years.  Eddie told his case manager “this has been the best year of my life.” We couldn’t be more proud of Eddie for the changes he had made.

By: Brianne Spresser

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