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“When I was first asked to write a short paragraph about my experiences at Houses of Hope, my initial thought was that there was no way I could successfully put all of my feelings into just one paragraph.  On the other hand, it is proving to be kind of difficult to find the words to properly describe my experience there.  Towards the end of my stay at Houses, I remember commenting to my counselor that they had picked a very fitting name in “Houses of Hope,” because when he asked me what this place meant to me, that was the very first word to pop into my head; hope.  For years I had lived in squalor, in seclusion, in despair, and had relegated myself to the idea that my life was going to consist of nothing but loneliness and drugs, often thinking about how I quite literally had zero hope for my future. It was by no coincidence that all these years later, towards the end of my stay at Houses, the very first thing that came to mind when this question was posed to me was the sudden realization that I now had hope for my future.  As I sat in his office reflecting on this answer I had just given, it dawned on me just how long it had been since I could last remember actually having hope.  Not since I was a young boy had I been even slightly hopeful for what may lie ahead of me, and now, largely due to Houses, I realize that I finally did again.  I also give much credit to my circumstances, my inpatient treatment facility, my prosecuting attorney, among many other people I was fortunate to have in my corner along the way.  But, above all, Houses of Hope gave me the most.  They gave me a place to transfer to from treatment, to continue to learn about myself and learn how to live a sober life in a safe environment; they gave me a place and a group of people to learn from with a proven track record of success in the community; they gave me great friendships and relationships with people that I will forever cherish, many of whom I am still close with today; they gave me insight from their experiences, acceptance of my own path, along with the freedom  to make my own decision, always to be followed by positive affirmation and encouragement of the correct decision being made.  The list of things that I have received from Houses is far too long to list in just one paragraph, but for me it can all be summed up in one word; hope.  They gave me hope again, and they gave it to me in better terms than I ever could have imagined.”

-Anonymous 2022

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