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When a Sentence Turns Into a Blessing

Oct 17, 2017

It isn’t always by choice that people end up at the mission. Sometimes, as a result of a crime, part of sentencing will involve time in a recovery program. That’s how Steve ended up here. “It was court ordered that I come here for six months,” he said.

Steve doesn’t have a scandalous story. He grew up in Santa Maria, went to local schools and was raised by a decent family. He coached baseball in high school and worked as a school custodian for 20 years.

But when he was in his mid-20s, his social drinking turned into more heavy consumption. It didn’t interfere with his job and he often went days without alcohol. But on the weekends, casual drinking turned into binge drinking.

“It took about five years for me to realize it was a problem,” Steve said.

In the first few days of his court-ordered stay at the mission, Steve just focused on getting through the program.

“I realize now that this is the right way to go,” said Steve, who at the time of this interview had been in the program for five weeks. “It has a structure with a message. I would choose to be here.”

Steve has now spent more than four months at the mission. He is committed to finishing the program, going back to work, and then looking for a place where he can retire. He shared his gratitude with donors like you.

“Please continue to do what you’re doing,” Steve said. “It’s made a difference in my life. And I can see it’s been beneficial for a lot of people. It’s a good program, and it’s worthwhile to continue, and anybody who hasn’t started to donate, I hope they can so we can continue to have this type of a program.”

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