A BEAT Success Story Featuring Jennifer

“My name is Jennifer and I have been struggling with addiction since I was 14 years old. My drug of choice was meth. I was always a smoker, but in the last year or so of my addiction, I got curious and decided to try slamming meth. In the beginning, I thought it was the best thing to ever happen to me because the high was like no other – but it wasn’t long before I realized that it was the worst thing ever. I started doing things that I now look back at and couldn’t imaging ever agreeing to doing now that I am sober. My life soon became unmanageable as I was having an affair with an older man, getting in physical altercations with his partner and doing things with him in front of my children.

To make a long story short, I was being evicted from my house because my landlord got out of prison and wanted his house back. He did not want to give me a chance to find somewhere to go, so instead he terrorized me and my family. It got so bad that I had to stay across the street with people that I didn’t really know. It was during this time that my landlord called Child Protective Services (CPS) on me. Eventually, CPS took my kids and placed them with my mom. I continued to use after my kids were taken and when I had to test for CPS, I gave a dirty test. CPS held a Team Decision Meeting and I agreed to let the kids go with my mom although I selfishly wanted them to go to the system because my drug use led me to believe that my family was out to get me. Before I entered WestCare, I went to my moms to pick up my two kids for a visit and ended up hiding for a few days. I took them with me to WestCare and entered the program. A few hours after entering the program, CPS came to the program with a warrant to take my kids. Although my kids had been taken again, I decided to stay in the program because I knew that was the only way that I would be able to get my babies back.

I was enrolled into the BEAT program and it was their staff that helped me identify how risky the life that I was living was and that if I did not make the necessary changes, things would not get better for me or my kids. I learned a lot about myself while I was in the program. I learned that I didn’t like who I was when I was an addict and that I had mental health issues that were beyond my control. It was through my recovery that I was able to learn to maintain my mental health as well as my sobriety. WestCare and the BEAT program really helped by working with me at my pace. If it wasn’t for the program, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have a job, regular visits with my kids and am working towards reunification. I just got my own place and have a huge support system that consists of family, friends and the staff at WestCare. I would recommend the program to anyone battling addiction. It helped change my life for the better and I know that it can do the same for anyone else. Today I am clean and sober, have successfully completed my residential and outpatient programs and am proud of how far I have come!” – Jennifer

For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

A Housing Success Story Featuring Edmund

“Prior to taking advantage of our services, Edmund had spent the last eight months staying at The Warming Center, a local homeless shelter. He has had various life obstacles including a substance use disorder and a period of homelessness. However, when we met, he stated that he was starting a new life with a clean slate. He had literally walked away from his old life and left everything behind.

I was touched by his story of how alcohol took over his life, but he has been sober for about a year now. As his case manager with Opening Doors to Housing and Wellness, I discussed resources for him such as local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups and services offered by Fresno County’s Department of Behavioral Health, if he is ever in need of them. 

After he moved into his new apartment, our program was able to provide household items like dishes, flatware, pots/pans and cooking utensils. We also provided a kitchen trash can and trash bags as well as other household items. Meanwhile, Chelsey Ramirez, Program Manager of our Coordinated Entry System and David Bethea, Program Manager of Opening Doors to Housing and Wellness, assisted him with getting a bed for his new place.

I saw Edmund today and can say that he is doing very well! He is settling well into his new home and is looking to go back to school to further his education at Fresno City College.” – Christine Killebrew, Case Manager, Housing Services: Opening Doors to Housing and Wellness

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

A Success Story by Ronald C. (SUDT Program Graduate at Sierra Conservation Center)

We’d like to share a success story by Ronald, a graduate of our Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUDT) program and former inmate at the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC). With our SCC contract changing to a new provider at the end of April, we’d also like to use this moment to send a very special thank you to the wonderful WestCare California, Inc. staff and leadership at SCC for their many inspiring submissions over the years! Thank you all for Uplifting The Human Spirit through your tireless service to our in-custody program participants!

“Hello,

My name is Ronald C. I paroled from CDCR in Jamestown on September 05, 2018.

On August 20, 2014, I made a decision to turn away from my drug using and criminal behavior and turned all my energy from negative to positive. I knew I needed help and I knew I could find that help within CDCR. I was transferred to the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, which had a Substance Abuse Program (SAP).

I was accepted in the SAP there and completed the 6 month Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUD) program, yet I was wanting more. Later, I was accepted in the first Long Term Offenders Program (LTOP) that catered toward life-term inmates. With these two programs, I was able to identify warning signs that could possibly lead me down a road to negative behavior. The program allowed me to see who I was when I made decisions in my life and who I am today. I learned the difference between remorse and regret and what being responsible for ones actions is all about.

My recovery is not just a matter of abstaining from drugs or criminal behavior. It’s much, much more than that. I maintain my recovery by staying connected to what kept me sober and criminally free. I am encouraged and held accountable for any negative behavior and continue to establish and accomplish new goals.

Today, I surround myself with positive and sober people. I work a full-time clock-punching job for a commercial plumbing company in Riverside, California, make $22.00 an hour and work at least 40 hours a week. I attend AA meetings 2-3 times a week and volunteer at the local Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Program. I sponsor anywhere from 6-8 men there and on Friday nights, I facilitate a Relapse Prevention class to the Beneficiaries at the Adult Rehabilitation Center.

Lastly and mainly, I do not forget where I came from. I owe a great deal of my success and the man I am today to the counselors in that trailer at the Sierra Conservation Center.

Respectfully submitted to whom it may concern or give hope to.”

Sincerely,

Ronald C.

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

A Story of Change by Deborah G.

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“On January 17, 2015, I came to Fresno and enrolled with WestCare because I was a drug addict and needed help. I wanted to be a better person and entered into WestCare’s sober living program. One month later, my 25-year-old son Nikolaus was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Hawaii. I went to a meeting at WestCare’s program, The Living Room, the next day and collected my 4 month chip in my son’s honor. I kept going to groups and tried to live for my son, Niko. I stayed clean, but had a lot of work to do.

Sad but clean, I attended the first job preparedness class offered by Catholic Charities through Fresno City College in May of 2015. The class given by Dr. Ronda Herb on October 10, 2016 was the motivation behind my successful results. I completed an online course in February of 2017 to become Deborah L Gilleran, RADT (Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician). On March 29, 2017, I began my internship at WestCare California which included facilitating outpatient 12 step meetings and inpatient Wellbriety groups. In the last 10 months, I became involved with Reading and Beyond, where I obtained my GED on May 2, 2017. Upon receiving my GED, I enrolled into a counseling certificate course through California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAP). I am 4 weeks into that class and in 1 year I will receive my certificate for CADC 1 (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.) Along with the course, I will need 3000 intern hours in the drug and alcohol field, which I am blessed to say that I will be able to achieve because I have just accepted a full time job with WestCare California. I am now Deborah L. Gilleran RADT, RMS Counselor Tech!

I have been very blessed to be involved with Catholic Charities, Fresno City College, Reading and Beyond and WestCare California. Thank you all for caring about people in your community!”

Sincerely,

Deborah L. Gilleran

WCCA Logo PNGFor over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents, and families.

“I Am Thankful For The Many Blessings” by Christopher T.

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It is our pleasure to share a success story on behalf of our WestCare California STOP Area 1 program that assists parolees by linking them to appropriate services including substance abuse treatment and employment assistance.

“Prior to being incarcerated, I was employed with Goodwill for two years. I was released June 2016 from the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC). I was paroled to Sacramento County under Parole Agent, Antonio Torres. Once released, I was able to stay with my mother and siblings until a referral for housing became available. As of July 2016, I received a referral for housing. I am now a current participant of the WestCare California STOP Area 1 program. I am so thankful that my waiting period was very short. I was giving this opportunity to have shelter, food and an opportunity to obtain employment. I was admitted to the Walters House   treatment center in Woodland, CA located in Yolo County. I was very grateful to get the assistance that was needed in order for me to move forward. In September 2016, I was admitted to the Humanity House Sober Living Environment. Mrs. Cynthia is firm but nevertheless, has your best interest in mind. I attended the Sacramento Community Based Coalition (SCBC) re-entry program, which provides employment and educational services to parolee clients.

I’m in the process of test preparation for the GED and in the meantime, I am working for the Caltrans Parolee Work Crew Program. I am very thankful to their staff for giving me the opportunity to shine. Besides getting myself together and staying focused, I managed to get temporary custody of my daughter. I love my mom for being so supportive through all my encounters and being the wonderful Grandmother that she is. I am thankful for the many blessings.” – Christopher T.

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents, and families.

A Recovery Success Story by Christine J.

Christine J.

It is our pleasure to share a success story on behalf of our WestCare California STOP Area 1 program that assists parolees by linking them to appropriate services including substance abuse treatment and employment assistance.

“My name is Christine. I am 35 years old and in 2014, I was sent to prison for aggravated arson that stemmed from a 19 year meth addiction. This offense ultimately changed the course of my life. I found myself running from parole, homeless and hopeless and I knew that something had to change. So, on my son’s 15th birthday, I told him my plan and that I loved him and that I would be back.

Eight months ago, Pathways found me sleeping on their doorstep begging for help and offered me one last chance to pull myself out of the grip of this hell that I had been living in.

Today, due to the grace of GOD and the encouragement and guidance of WestCare California and Pathways, I feel as though I am on the right path to restoring the woman and mother that GOD purposed me to be. Now at 233 days clean, I am not only employable, but I am employed and just signed the lease to my very own apartment, a home of my own.

Through this experience, I know two things to be true: GOD is grand and there is beauty in my breaking.

Thank you WestCare California and Pathways for all you have shown me. I would also like to give a special thanks to my mentor and counselor, Shawna H. Go, Team Shawna!” – Christine J.

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents, and families.

“Moving Forward” by Stephan S.

stephan-s-difference“I remember as a child growing up in San Francisco’s downtown Fillmore area. During the 60’s and 70’s, it had become an African American historical business district which brought about jobs, home ownership, youth programs and social togetherness. I hung out in the Turk Street Project area. I grew up with violence and I learned to fight back. I was 18 when I was first arrested.

When you’re locked up, you meet more people who are doing crazy stuff and you learn that stuff. When I got older, I did crazier stuff and ended up doing time. I served 22 years incarcerated. I was in Folsom, San Quentin, Solano, Susanville, Deuel Vocational Institute, Corcoran and California Men’s Colony (CMC). During my stay at CMC, I got the news that my mom died and I wanted out. I knew I had broken my mom’s heart as did other siblings before me.

Released in December 2014 with $200 gate money, I was paroled  to Sacramento County under Parole Agent, Gerard Morita. I had to check in Monday – Friday by noon, which was very difficult due to back and leg issues. Although I was homeless, I always took pride in my appearance. While homeless, I was working odd jobs through people in the community so I could receive earnings to pay for shelter. This went on for months.

Agent Morita referred me to California Consortium Services. There, I had access to showers and meals, which I utilized  Monday – Saturday. Eventually, I acquired a small pickup truck which enabled me to do service jobs for prospective clients. In the interim, I was assigned to another Parole Agent, Kenneth Dixon. Parole Agent Dixon managed to get me a referral through WestCare California, which provided housing, meals and outpatient services. Dixon is the fairest PA that I’ve ever encountered!

On December 2015, I was admitted to Humanity House, a Sober Living Environment. While there, I attended outpatient services and classes at Another Choice Another Chance on Franklin Blvd. under Mr. Thesolonius Story, AKA ‘Bo’, and his fellow staff. Thank you, Another Choice Another Chance for scheduling and re-scheduling with me and for having compassion. I obtained my Social Security, opened up a bank account and graduated from the WestCare program. To every employee at WestCare California, I thank you all for putting up with me until the end.

I thank God for his mercy and to those assisted in the process of my change. I am staying focused and will continue to make a difference.” – Stephan S.

“Learning to Trust the Process” by Troy W.

capture“It was brought to my attention that I should pause to say ‘Thank you’ to the people who have assisted me in my process of change. Realizing the error of my ways and working on the thoughts and behaviors that led me to incarceration has been one of the most difficult things I have had to deal with in my life. I thank God that every day, keeping the change becomes easier because of the people I have been fortunate to surround myself with. I am convinced that some people have been strategically placed in my life that have taught me that connections matter. I am thankful that I have connected with people like you who have essentially been a cheerleading squad telling me that I can make it.

I am moved to tears when I consider how well things are going in my life right now and it’s all because of people like Ms. Cynthia and Mr. Forte, the House Manager at Humanity House, the wonderful staff at the Sacramento Community-Based Coalition, Ms. Natalya Edwards,  who keeps reminding me that success doesn’t come overnight and that it takes practice and healthy living. I’d also like to thank Dr. K.D. Weldon, Sr. Although he is younger than I am, I have adopted him as my mentor. Dr. Weldon taught me that everything has a purpose and my past is part of my metamorphosis to the bright future that is ahead.

Lastly, my parole agent, Kris Hardy, who from our first meeting, instilled in me that a man is defined not by how much he does in life, but what he starts and finishes.

My future looks bright and I have the people listed above to thank for it. I am making a commitment to continue what I have started, but furthermore to help anyone with a criminal past to know that they too can succeed.”

Sincerely,
Troy W.
WestCare California’s STOP Area 1 Program

“Follow the Straight Path” by Ahmad H.

giving-back-4“I was born to a pair of street hustlers and raised in the small city of Richmond, California. I was only 2 years old losing both parents to the streets and the prison system.

Without their leadership and guidance, I too gravitated to the streets of Richmond. I abandoned my dreams of being an athlete and entertainer for the more tangible idea of being a gangster and running my city. Unfortunately, a lot of other young black males had the same idea and I earned myself a life sentence in prison for the attempted murder of a rival gang member.

While incarcerated, I initially went through a state of deep denial. Blaming was the main culprit in my stunted growth. I began to attend Islamic services every Friday. Islam compelled me to look at myself in a way that I never had before. I began attending self-help programs and reading books. The most memorable were the autobiography of Malcolm X, ‘Know Thyself’ by Na’im Akbar and ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’ These books, self-help groups and a new found faith in God gave me the strength and guidance to tear down  the angry and irresponsible young man I had become. I had to rebuild myself with the goal of being a man of principle and integrity.

I was released from prison on March 16, 2016. I paroled to WellSpace Health, a recovery home in Sacramento, CA. While there, I met countless people who supported me in re-entering society: Kim, Clo and the entire staff at WellSpace. My caseworker from WestCare’s STOP program had me placed in a sober living home under the care of Ms. Cynthia Mose. Ms. Mose, Bo Story and my Parole Agent, Eduardo Duran, gave me the necessary freedom to get my drivers license, social security card and find employment. Sadly, our system isn’t always supportive of a smooth transition back into society, so it is very important that you have your family and people like the above mentioned in your corner.

Today, I work with troubled youth and I am still pursuing my dream of a career in athletics and entertainment. In my opinion, to be truly happy in this life, one must pursue their dreams and give back to the community that you stole from.  I’m doing that and I am at peace and truly grateful  for this opportunity to  shine.

Praise God for He is the Greatest. Dream big and believe in yourself. Finally, seek help and be humble to accept assistance. I could not have done any of this without the support of my wife, family and all of the beautiful people that God placed in my life.” – Ahmad H.

 

WestCare California Alumni Lead by Example

 

Robert and Gregory

Gregory A. and Robert E.

“Despite a very hard life that at times was spent in the streets, on and off drugs and in and out of jail and after many tries and against all odds, Robert E and Gregory A participated in and completed the residential treatment program at WestCare California’s MLK Residential facility.

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In the face of temptation, these men were able to practice the tools that they learned in the program to overcome past relapse triggers. They have since become Alumni and return to support the current clients at the facility. Robert and Gregory spoke in front of the men as a testimony of how they have overcome their active addiction. They also encouraged the men to stay strong, work the program, go to meetings, get a sponsor and not to go back to their old lifestyles.

For their efforts, I awarded these two men with ‘Thank you for Uplifting the Human Spirit’ tokens.” – Celestino Rayos, Coordinator, Men’s Residential Treatment