Andrew Nears 1-Year Anniversary Of Program Graduation
When we last spoke to Andrew in early 2018, he was new to the mission’s life recovery program and was working to let God lead him in his journey. “I have goals and dreams, but I have to put God in the middle of it,” he said. “It’s a spiritual issue. Can God fix me? Yeah. But I need to put in the work, too. Then he’ll meet me where I’m at.”
Nearly a year later and Andrew has done the work and succeeded. It’s been nearly a year since his graduation from the program, and Andrew is content. “My life isn’t exciting, and I’m fine with that,” he said with a laugh. “It’s not a party anymore, and that’s good. I’m happy taking it slow. I’m happy being content with what I have. The plan was to be where I’m at now, so why would I jeopardize that? I don’t have the most money, my own apartment, a car. But I have myself.”
Last September, Andrew moved into the mission’s transitional housing. “We all went to work or went to school, so it was a lot quieter. But we would all cook dinner together.” He graduated that program in February and is now renting a room. “It’s in a nice area and I like it. It’s a little weird because I haven’t had my own room in over five years. It’s nice to have my own space”
Andrew chose the Central Coast Rescue Mission knowing he’d need a fresh start away from his hometown in the Central Valley. He’s settled in Santa Maria and for nine months has been working at a screen printing shop, the owners of which are supporters of the mission.
Looking back at his time in the program, Andrew said the small size of the classes was helpful. “The benefit of it being a small group is that you can be more open and everyone has a voice,” he said. “It was easier to share. When it’s more intimate, and you can really get to know other people. That just benefits everybody.”
Andrew also appreciated the outreach opportunities. “I liked that they were really into outreach, and serving the community,” he said. “When you go and are out there in the community (with those experiencing homelessness), you realize that could be you with just one bad decision. It’s a reminder. It’s always there.”
Now that he’s working and living on his own, Andrew is careful to focus on his thoughts. “There have been times when I’ve wanted to use,” he said. “I use the Genesis Process that they teach at the mission. I ask myself what’s different and why I’m feeling like I want to use. It might be because I’m feeling lonely or aggravated. I go deeper into why I’m feeling that way. You have to do some digging to stay sober. Addiction is just a symptom of what’s wrong.”