My name is Joe, and I’m an alcoholic. I am eternally grateful for the Road to Hope for offering me an opportunity that forever changed my life. I had been homeless for nearly 2 consecutive years, living in the woods, baseball dugouts, abandoned facilities and the like, and suffering from mental illness and alcoholism/ chemical dependecy. Although I had no money to my name and could not find work, the Road to Hope took me in off the streets and out of the cold. They saved my life. But more than that, they introduced me to a solution to all my problems when, as much as a tried, I couldn’t find any. Things were pretty bad then. But they weren't always.
I grew up in an affluent community and succeeded in academics and athletics. I took all honors or advanced placement courses in high school and played baseball at the collegiate level. I had a very good life and a very promising future. But at 20 years old I began drinking. Socially at first, however it didn’t end up that way. Within a couple years I became an IV heroin user and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
With great love and tolerance, the Road to Hope offered me the emotional support I needed to get on the path to recovery. All I had hoped for was warmth and shelter, but what I got was so much more. An atheist when I moved in, they talked of God and let rent slide for the first few months until they helped me find a job. I don’t know how they could afford to that (and perhaps they didn’t know either) and I didn’t understand why. I did appreciate it though. It was at the Road to Hope I experienced brotherhood and witnessed something greater than myself making lives better.
Given my severe chemical dependency problem, they introduced me to a 12-step program and encouraged my involvement in it. For a total of about 11 months, I lived at both Hope House 1 and House 2. Day to day living there felt like being at a 12-step meeting at all times. The exposure to the solution and their support was crucial to obtaining the success I experience today. The Road to Hope also showed me stability. Knowing all too well the dilemma of ‘how will I get my next meal?’ and ‘where will I sleep tonight?,’ I cherish stability today. Having been a taker and done harm to my community during active addiction, the Road to Hope helped me re-enter the community as a productive member. They also showed me the power of giving. Today I find that its in giving that I receive the most.
I am now 25 years old with over 2 years of sobriety. I’ve held the same job for the last 2 years and have been promoted. I will be resuming school soon to finish my degree. After having been prescribed psychiatric medication for 6 years, I was taken off them by my doctor 2 years ago and have been symptom free since. The Road to Hope played an instrumental role in my recovery and I’m so thankful to them. They supported me and showed me how to live. Today I am able to be an example and an inspiration to those suffering- to work with them like the Road to Hope worked with me. I am able to be a good person and a productive member of society today. The life I have today, at one time, seemed impossible. I believe miracles happen at the Hope House.
Hello, my name is Steve G. and I'm writing to relate my experience with the Road To Hope Foundation. After ten plus years of sobriety I believed I could safely drink again and destroyed virtually everything my wife and I had built. I was fortunate enough to get a second chance, but ten months into sobriety we were homeless. My wife was devastated and I didn't know where to turn. Then God's plan for us began to unfold. My AA sponsor knew of the Road To Hope and he contacted Jeff Kamms. I was accepted into the Hope House. My wife was able to stay with family and then got a place of her own. Now the healing and rebuilding process began. For the next three years I was part of something at the Road to Hope that is hard to put into words. We saw laughter and tears, triumphs and tragedies, fits and starts, but always men with divine Hope to be restored to real life. I've seen the recovery community and the community in general step up and help provide for the men "at the house" I've seen the residents experience the joy of helping others. Lives have truly been transformed at the Road To Hope. The blessings I have received are nothing short of miraculous this February my wife and I will have been reunited for two years in our own home. I work with her three days a week and spend three days a week with my four grandchildren. I even get to play drums with my church worship team on Sunday's! It was God's grace that connected me with the Road to Hope. And the Road to Hope in no small measure, has helped me connect with my God and my fellows.
Saturday, May 29, 2010 my life finally changed for the better. Not all at once, but it was the beginning of a great transformation. That was when I moved into The Road to Hope house on 8th street in Elyria Ohio.
I tried to stay sober by myself and just going to one AA meeting a week in Lakewood Ohio, which has three bars on every corner. My sobriety date is May 8, 2010 and I was living with two housemates who were drinking and doing other drugs all the time. I needed and wanted to change my life, but I didn’t know how. I made a phone call to my sober stepfather and asked for help and he got me into the Road to Hope house.
Jeff Kamms and others helped me so much with my transformation into a “Sober Drunk”. Since I was unemployed, without a driver’s license and had no bank account, I had a bunch of time on my hands. With that time, I went to many AA meetings with the Road to Hope guys who were just like me. Within the first six months of my being there, I went to 12-15 AA meetings a week. I got a sponsor, Andy Kaizer who helped me through the 12 steps if Alcoholics Anonymous, and helped me find a home group. By living in the Hope House, I had a support group right there. I thank my higher power, God, every day for allowing me to be able to change my life around.
I stayed in the Hope House for a year and a half, until I was ready to face the world on my own again. During that time period, I got a job, my license back and a bank account with money in it. I bought a car and was able to drive others to AA meetings, knowing that this was the only way for me to stay sober was to give back and help others.
Today I am married to the woman who left me while I was a drunk in Lakewood. We have a house and a beautiful baby girl together. I smile everyday now, instead of being wrapped up misery. The Road to Hope, Jeff Kamms, Andy Kaizer, Ken Dunbrook and many others have helped me become the man I was once afraid of. I love myself today and it is wonderful saying to others….“No thanks. I don’t drink”.
Road to Hope was recommended to me by the Glenbeigh staff in August of 2016. I was finishing up 28 days of treatment and sober living was a last option for me. I had almost destroyed my relationship with my wife and children with my addiction to alcohol. Until I entered Road to Hope, I had not been able to understand how to live a sober life. The community atmosphere was one that I did not expect nor was the total submersion in sobriety. If a resident abides by the rules set at Road to Hope, I personally feel he will have a hard time NOT getting sober. Many AA meetings take place at Road to Hope in addition to the many men who are willing to take residents to meetings in the surrounding area. Sponsors are also in abundance and will help men with reading the AA Big Book and guide them through the 12 steps of AA. I was taught not only the “hows” of AA but the “whys” of AA at Road to Hope. I was also taught that living a sober life can be filled with fun and fulfillment.
If it wasn't for the staff at Road to Hope and the individuals I met through Road to Hope I would not be sober today. I am coming up on two years sober and am back home with my wife and children. I could not imagine my life being any better.
My name is Brad D. I'm 44 years old, and was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA. I found myself living in Cleveland since 2000, due to my father's relocation. Being an Executive Chef, I found successful employment here at local country clubs, and life was good. I was raised in a happy, loving Christian home, with parents married for 51 years. I was taught to be kind, decent, loving, and that hard work pays off. This was true. I had the American dream with a well-paying job, a wife, a new home and little puppy. But, then, something happened.
It all started with weekend picnics, and a few beers after work. I never had any problems or consequences of my drinking, so why stop? Well, the consequences came. I lost jobs, my marriage, and my home. I had 5 DUI's, multiple alcoholic seizures, wrecked cars, multiple arrests, house arrest, a breathalyzer on my car, an ankle bracelet, and three stints in county jail. Ultimately, I was homeless for about a year in downtown Cleveland.
I'd been to all the rehab facilities across Cleveland multiple times. While I went in and out of recovery and AA, I could never stay sober. I was confused, frustrated, depressed, and suicidal. The craving to drink was undeniable and obsessive.
I had heard of the Road to Hope multiple times through my mother. I thought, "this place is like all the rest, and it won't work." I felt I was just destined to die on the streets, a raging drunk.
I had a spiritual experience-a moment of clarity- on April 25, 2015. I felt God telling me to call RTH. What did I really have to lose? So, I did it. A long- time friend picked me up and took me to RTH on April 26. I looked at my pathetic existence, and realized I had zero answers. I realized that I could not fix this by myself. I had to squash all my old ideas and become totally open minded, willing and honest. The Road to Hope was that safe haven for me, to learn how to start making better decisions. One day at a time, I learned about myself, my disease, the 12 steps of AA, and most importantly, God. I learned how to be different, think differently, and live differently. By the grace of God, three and half years later, I'm still clean and sober. How did I do it? By just being honest and taking some simple directions. I am beyond grateful to Road to Hope -a facility that has people that truly care and have your best interest at heart! Thank you, RTH, for giving me a life of true freedom that I never thought was possible!
Treatment centers are wonderful places. What a great decision it is for someone like me, or anyone struggling with chemical dependency to begin a journey into a new life, free from addiction. Safe, medical detoxification and a bubble wrapped environment allowed me to focus on getting healthy and cleared my head long enough to get introduced to AA and the Twelve Steps.
When it was coming time to leave my treatment center, I was scared. I would never admit that to you, but I was. I know that all the chaos and troubles that I got to set down for the 46 days were waiting for me at the door. And I knew that my way to deal with those pressures would lead me back to my addiction (Alcohol, in my case). I did a bit of research with the help of staff and found the Road to Hope with recommendation from the staff. And what a blessing it has been for me!
I came directly from treatment to Road to Hope in September 2014. It was here that I was given the ability to sort out my life with a constant blanket of sober support around me. I was able to sort out many trouble spots and deal with some rough patches within my life with focus and commitment to sobriety. The fiercely caring staff of the Road to Hope was there to guide me and give me correct suggestions on how to live sober and ENJOY it! Something I never thought possible… by March of 2015, I decided to move out as I was the one who felt “ready”. Truthfully, not everyone thought it was the best idea. By July of that same year, I was really struggling.
With my tail between my legs, I was lovingly urged to “come home”. That’s exactly what I did. I moved back, redoubling my efforts to live and take suggestions that were given to me. Not only that, I used all the tools that the Road to Hope had been offering me the whole time. Step work began right away with a renewed vigor with the help of my sponsor. I took the time to seek out and work with other alcoholics intensively and found my own niche there. I got active and in turn played an active role in the recovery of myself, as well as others. Thanks to all this and my previous experience with the Road to Hope I am back to strong, happy sobriety!
Though I moved out in January of 2016, I am anything but missing from the campus on Irondale Street. I now reside in Brunswick, but you will see me in Elyria a few nights a week staying active and doing the things the Road to Hope taught me. Working with other addicts and alcoholics, staying active and close to my sober support, and being willing to give of my time, talent and sometimes just my ear to further the efforts of the Road to Hope. This is something that will not change. I wake up today happy and free, all because of what I learned AND APPLIED here. In most cases I know how to correctly respond instead of react. And if I don’t, you’d better believe I’m asking someone from Road to Hope.
I don’t exactly know how to describe it. The Road to Hope either SAVED or RENEWED my life. Probably both! Today I don’t hesitate to publicly talk about the miracles that are produced here. If you knew me 2 years ago, I’d bet you wouldn’t quite recognize me today. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Thank you isn’t enough, I’m compelled to keep close and continue to help in anyway I can. I am proud, and moreover grateful to be a part of such a wonderful cause and community.
With sincere gratitude and love,
14 month resident – Road To Hope