567 days…how is that even possible?
I received an email, this morning, from a Momma whose daughter and niece are in active addiction here in Grand Rapids. She reached out to me because she doesn’t know what to do. She told me the story of how her daughter is on parole and walked away from rehab and is using on the streets. She’s coming to Michigan and going to take her daughter to prison to turn herself in.
So here I am, sitting at my desk, with tears rolling down my face because I’ve been there and I would do anything to be there again just to have Derek back. I can feel her helplessness and hopelessness, her love for her daughter and her want to help her. She said it seems to me that the system is flawed. Boy is it ever! It’s set up for them to fail and that makes me so angry.
Her daughter, I’m sure, is going to run either before her Mom gets to Michigan or before she leaves to drop her off at prison; she is NOT going to want to withdraw in prison. She needs detox and rehab now, before she turns herself in.
Usually, an addict wants help when they are coming off the drugs because they don’t want to feel all of those feelings that the drugs cover up. However, when they call Network 180 and go through the evaluation process they are told that a bed will be available in, let’s say, 3 weeks! Are you kidding me? In 3 weeks they’re going to be high again and aren’t going to give a shit about that bed; they aren’t even going to answer your phone call.
If you are lucky enough to get a bed right away the time frame that you can stay at a rehab facility, in Kent County is anywhere from 7-28 days. Again, seriously? That is not nearly a long enough time for someone to be clean before being sent back out into the world. Which is what happens, they finish their time and are sent on their way; what the fuck are they supposed to do? Not everyone can afford sober living, they don’t have a job to pay for it and those places are not cheap.
There’s no aftercare in Kent County, nobody for them to talk to or relate to or support to help them to stay in recovery, find a place to live, get a job or whatever they might need. That’s why Derek’s Place is so needed here! I want to help all of the people, all of the people that are in recovery, all of the people that are homeless, all of the people that have a mental disorder, all of the people like Derek.
This is my passion and what I AM going to do with the rest of my life, this is what keeps me going and brings me joy. I want to sit down with all of them and listen to their stories and be there for them and let them know that they are worthy of having the life they dream of, that it isn’t just a dream; I want to make them believe that it can be a reality! I want to give them the tools that they need to obtain happiness and joy and the life they deserve.
I’m starting with the homeless this Saturday, I’m not going to just drop off some sack lunches, I’m going to sit with them and listen to their stories and find out what they need and what they want and I will help them get it. I’m going to share my story with them and tell them about Derek’s Place and let them know that when we are open they are welcome to come there and utilize all of our resources.
I know that I can’t do all of this by myself, I need help and lots of it! I need the support of the community and a good strong Board of Directors that has the same passion as I do! It takes a Village and I’m looking for my Village now!
It’s going to happen, maybe not in my time frame but it will happen.
I love you Derek and I miss the hell outta you