Marty’s life had been marked by one disappointment after another. Marty had lost so much- his innocence in his youth, his wife and children, his home, his job as a licensed nurse, his confidence and maybe his dignity, and his life as he knew it. He stumbled from chance to chance trying to “get his life together”. He continued to make the same mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes landed him in jail. Diagnosed as having Bipolar and utilizing alcohol and drugs to numb his pain was not a good combination for his goals of wanting to get some of those things he lost, back. Fast forward to the fall of 2013 when Marty met Action Ministries. Marty came to us as a referral from our local shelter. He had been “working the program” as a participant in the shelter and had worked so hard to stay sober and learn new skills. Once he entered Shelter Plus Care, Marty immediately found stability when he finally had a safe place to call home. Marty met with staff regularly and really engaged in the support and direction that the staff had to offer. Marty was settled and everything seemed “great” on the outside. He had finally gotten his SSDI and he was involved in the community. However, Marty was still at battle with himself on the inside.
Marty made a few more mistakes along the way- again landing him in jail. One of those mistakes had some attached consequences that weren’t his fault but yet had a major impact on him. Marty’s housing maintained intact due to the Housing First and Harm Reduction principles that are incorporated into our program. Because he had that stability and that grace, he was able to get his feet back up underneath him. As a result of the last mistake and those unsolicited and unfair consequences, something changed in Marty. All those things he knew to be true about living well and managing his mental health symptoms came to be true in his daily life.
The final connection between knowing and doing happened for Marty. As a result, Marty has been clean from alcohol and drugs for more than a year and a half. He moved into his OWN HOME with his OWN MORTGAGE in the fall of 2017. He spends nearly 20 hours a week in service to other agencies in the community-giving back! Additionally, he has landed a part time job as a handy man at a place where he used to volunteer. Marty serves on our local Executive Board for our community’s Continuum of Care and on Action Ministries’ Advisory Board in Augusta. Marty has managed his mental health symptoms by doing the work of self-examination so well that he is working with his mental health provider to gradually reduce his meds until he can come off of them completely. Marty and his doctor believe that this is a possibility! Marty continues to seek from and offer support for others that have a similar journey as him. He’s planning to re-activate his nursing license in the near future. Marty has taken back control of his life. And he’ll tell you that having a stable living environment was a major component of that. We’re so proud of Marty!