My name is Mike and thanks to Freedom House I now have four years sobriety.
I was in Spring Harbor Hospital prior to coming to Freedom House due to a suicide attempt while drinking and using drugs.
The police found me near death on a park bench. I was revived and spent nine days at Maine Medical Center and was then sent to Spring Harbor.
I got Ben’s number and called him after spending three weeks there. I felt well enough and was ready to try and get into recovery, and I was accepted into the Freedom House.
I had no money for rent at the time when Ben picked me up and was told the most important thing was to keep me off the streets so I could give this a shot.
They said not to worry about the money and to begin paying rent when I was on my feet.
So this is where my recovery began.
The requirements were to go to at least two meetings per week, get a sponsor and work the twelve steps, plus regular volunteer work at the soup kitchen.
At Freedom House I also got help finding resources in the community such as case management, therapist, psychiatrist, and other supports that would help me in recovery.
I like the accountability that comes along with being a resident at Freedom House.
The zero tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use makes me feel like I am safe. I love the support I receive from the management and they are always available if I need additional support.
I can see myself transitioning into my own apartment within the next couple years but I am not feeling rushed. I like it that there is no time limit on my stay—I just have to work a recovery program and stay sober.
Since I have been here I have reconnected with my children and their mother and have been able to be a father and support my children.
That is the greatest feeling in the world.
Freedom House South Portland
I entered the Freedom House directly from prison on a scholarship. It was very welcoming and I felt safe.
They picked me up directly from the bus station. I only had a bag of toiletries and my prison clothes to my name, but I had hope.
I took the opportunity they gave me and had the ambition to find a job and to start my journey to a new life.
Before I came to the Freedom House I was hopeless, scared, and I was not sure how I was going to survive.
Since I have been working the 12-step program with my sponsor and living at the house I have been able to reconnect with my sister and family members.
I never would have thought I could reconnect with them.
Since I have been sober I have been able to maintain and manage my life for the most part heading in the proper direction.
During my stay I have learned how to organize and plan ahead and prioritize things, and I learned how to ask for help. I also learned how to help others.
I personally believe my house is just right. It’s relaxed but not too much; there is still backbone so we know we can’t slack off. The freedom to come and go as we please helps us to build trust. The management is awesome, they care about our well-being and sobriety comes first with them.
In five years, I am hoping to have my license and a vehicle. I also hope to have my own house.
I will be trying to help others because that’s what makes me feel good, keeps me sober and gives me an opportunity to grow.
I completely stand behind Freedom House. The past four months here have been the best of my life!
The program has saved my life and many others, and I hope they can continue this work in the future and continue to help people.
Freedom House, South Portland