Albert had no place to turn. Homeless and struggling to beat his addictions, he says, “I was in a situation where I had nowhere to go but work release by way of Drug Court. You see, another sober house had failed to find me a bed after working on this for 3 weeks.” But his story ended differently than many homeless addicts and alcoholics in San Antonio and nationwide who are helpless to break the vise grip of addictions-rooted homelessness. Albert found a helping hand to freedom and new life through Pay It Forward Ministries.
Recent studies estimate that on an average night San Antonio has over 7500 homeless persons. Over half of these people are women with children. But of all the problems facing the homeless, “alcoholism and drug addiction are most pervasive” according to the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. Research shows 70-80% of the homeless struggle with addictions that make life change often seem impossible. An estimated 99% of addicts relapse after being released from treatment back into the streets. This gap in the treatment system creates a continual “addiction cycle” (see diagram) that burdens our community with untold costs to businesses and taxpayers in our medical and criminal justice system, and even more in loss of human potential.
Pay It Forward Ministries, a San Antonio non-profit and a new member of the North San Antonio Chamber, stepped into that treacherous gap between recovery and life change in 2010. That year, Brad Duphorne founded the ministry in gratitude to God for his own recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. In those brief four years, PIFM has provided the needed sober-living facilities that have dramatically increased the recovery success rate for almost a 1000 men and women like Albert. In contrast to many state-run facilities that have a two to six percent success rate, PIFM has enabled an astonishing 80 percent of their residents to remain sober.
Albert’s story is one of those many miracles. He says about his experience, “I was treated with much respect. I like the fact that you are allowed to be adults; however, you will be held accountable for what you do. This is a good structure and discipline builder. Rent on time and chores, penalties if obligations are not met; that is real world stuff.”
Did this “love and discipline” approach work? Albert continues, “Because of my actions and the encouragement of my Copeland house family, I have excelled in Drug Court and I am being allowed to go home. God is good! I want to thank Pay it Forward Ministries …. For the love and grace that was bestowed upon me.”
Pay It Forward currently places 25 to 35 recovering men and women a month in sober-living homes and that number continues to grow exponentially. And their sound financial stewardship enables them to provide this proven “ROI” for only $400 per person placed. In fact, right now the non-profit ministry could double or even triple the number of lives transformed with the help of the San Antonio community.
PIFM’s Bridge Builders is a movement of local generous people, just like you, who are committed to making a difference in our community by giving monthly to this amazing non-profit. An increase in the number of those participating in this movement means an increase in the number of placements and impact! For more information on how you can join the movement, please visit: http://payitforwardministries.org/bridge-builders.aspx.
If you or your organization would like more information on Pay It Forward Ministries and how you can join hands with them to lift up the homeless like Albert, please check out their website at http://payitforwardministries.org/default.aspx.