recovery

A Story of Change by Deborah G.

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7-19 Blog Post

“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.

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Two Newborns Receive a WestCare Welcome!

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Our staff and the individuals that we serve at our MLK Residential treatment facility in Fresno, CA recently held a joint baby shower for two of our mothers within the program, Ebony and Angelica! The Sesame Street themed event welcomed their newborns, Quincy and Jayden, respectively. Their fellow clients helped out by donating gifts, making treats and decorating the room for the shower. We pride ourselves in not only being able to provide help simultaneously to mothers and fathers with a substance abuse disorder, but for having such an amazing support system from our staff and their peers during this time of change for them and their children! We wish only the best for Ebony, Angelica and their little ones and would like to thank everyone who played a part in giving such a warm welcome!

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.

“Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Moving Forward in Life” by Danny R.

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-It is important to allow people to love me for who I am today.-

“It’s 5 a.m. I’m still getting up early to watch the sunrise, go to work at the dog and cat rescue center and share my day with wonderful volunteers. I wouldn’t change that for the world. However, I’m experiencing certain challenges I’ve never had to experience before: A new fear! The fear of having to explain to those who’ve become close to me that I have spent 36 years of my life in a terrifying prison environment. I had an idea of how it would feel, but now that the fear is real, it can be rather paralyzing. Fear is the most subtle and destructive of all human feelings. Fear kills dreams, fear kills hope, fear can hold you back from doing something that you know within yourself you are capable of doing, but it stops you in your tracks. My first inclination was to run away and not deal with the emotions. I was prepared to let go of the beautiful relationships I had established instead of facing the reactions of friends when they’ve been informed of my past years of incarceration. Many questions ran through my mind like: Will they become unattached? Will I lose friends that I’ve come to smile with and exchange laughter with? Should I bother explaining to them? Will they treat me or act differently? The answer: YES! Some will become unattached, others will not want to remain my friends or they will become uncomfortable around me. This is totally understandable. But, their will be a few who will be understanding and will give me a chance for their friendship.

Nevertheless, my biggest fear and no matter how shattering it can be, is that I do have to be honest and tell those that have become close to me that I am a parolee, that I have been in prison for my entire adult life. But, the most freighting question of all is: Will I be alone again? When sharing my dilemma with a friend, she said, ‘Danny, you have struggled and gone through too much to get to where you are standing here today. Do not let your fear of telling people who you’ve come to love and are now important in your life stop you from telling them where you have been the past 36 years. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward in life.’ And she was right! She made me realize that the expense of losing a dream and losing friends whom I love dearly is part of my healing. I must do what is right and let people know that I have been locked away in prison my entire adult life. It is important to allow people to love me for who I am today. It is important for me to know that my friends will love me regardless of my past failures as well as for the person I have become today.

And so, after revealing to my friends that I am a parolee, I learned that the most profound words for the human spirit to hear are, ‘WE LOVE YOU DANNY, no matter what you did in your past, today we see that you are not that person who committed a crime. In the few months that you’ve entered our lives, you have shown us that you are an awesome person; an honest, caring, compassionate and giving person. We love you Danny and want you to remain close in our lives as the good friend that you’ve shown yourself to be.’ They all proceeded to hug me, acknowledging their love and acceptance of me. And so, the tears I shed now are not from being locked away, but from having, in my life, remarkable people who choose to call me friend. That day, I learned that it is important to give people an opportunity to love me for the person that I am today.” – Danny R.

 

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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Christopher T. Quote

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.

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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.

wc-branding_CA

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.

“Change” by Clarence R.

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Clarence R. 2

It is our honor to share a powerful piece shared by one of our in-prison programs and written by Clarence, who is currently serving 3 life sentences +85 years without the possibility of parole.

“What am I doing? How have I ruined my life? My rights from wrongs were twisted. I missed it and didn’t know it. Low self-esteem took myself from dreams that I wanted. A fixture of pain that stained the glass I drank from. But, I think some didn’t know it because it was hard for me to show it for so long.

So, so long to deceit because I’ve planted my feet on the ground, bound by my decision to do better, to leave ‘never’ from my thoughts and to never be caught off-guard again. This selfish recovery has been rubbing me the right way. The right day is now. The right way is how I process my feelings to ensure that the healing begins.

No more sorrows of self-pity to associate; that social gate is closed. I socialize with those who grow, those who know right from wrong. They inspire me, because they desire me to absorb my change, to absorb those things that are new to me.

It’s new to see the potential I possess. I confess that I’m scared, that I stare at my future and freeze, standing on wobbly knees and uncertain, hoping my curtain hasn’t closed, so I chose.

Disheartened no more, I’m starting to soar to new heights. Through nights of reflection, I’ve found my reflections were me, were we who give up and don’t live up to our true potential.

My best care was WestCare, who gave me a hand, gave me a chance to find purpose, to be worth this existence. To conquer and thrive, to continue to strive and be better. It’s in us; they just lend us the tools. So, don’t be fools. Change.” – Clarence R.

“Moving Forward” by Stephan S.

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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.