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How long was your stay at the Open Hearth?

From 1994 to 2002

How long in recovery or out of incarceration?

I have been in recovery since November 2, 1994.

What can you tell us about your experience at the Open Hearth?

I was very comfortable from the moment I entered The Open Hearth. I saw that they had everything I needed to get my life back together. I quickly saw that the more involved I became, the more I would get out of the program. I felt like here, I could not and did not want to do any wrong, and if I felt like I was straying away from what my main goal was, maintaining my sobriety, there was always someone there to help me get back on track.

What life lessons did you learn through the staff / your experience at the Open Hearth?

One of the main life lessons I learned while at The Open Hearth was that I needed religion in my life to maintain my sobriety. I found that religion helped to form a solid foundation for me that I strongly rely on.

Did the Open Hearth change your thinking? How?

The Open Hearth changed the way I thought about living my life. I found a new way to live my life. I realized that using drugs was not going to solve any problems or benefit me in any way.

Share the value of your experience as you’ve continued your journey.

During my experience as a resident of The Open Hearth, I’ve learned the value of being honest, having self-esteem, being respected and most importantly being trusted. Gaining trust has helped me succeed within the Hearth. I was once a client and now I have been entrusted to run The Open Hearth Wood Yard.

What advice do you have for current clients?

I would advise current clients that staff is there to help them not hurt them. The best thing you can do is set up a plan with your case manager and follow it. As long as you stick to the game plan, you can be successful.

What is the one thing you want people (insiders and outsiders) to know about the Open Hearth?

The Open Hearth is place where you can change your life.

Describe the Open Hearth in one word.

Life saving.

What are you doing now?

I am the Wood Yard manager and a proud condo owner.