Keys to a Home

Brenda McFarlane, the 30-60-90 Program Manager, asked several Mission residents the following question:  “What would it mean to you to have a safe, sober, and affordable living community outside of the Mission?”  Predictably, that seemed like a positive thing to everyone, but let’s hear it in their own words.  

A woman who is in our 30-60-90 transitional program exclaimed, “It would be EXCELLENT! That’s the only word I could think of.  It would mean the world to me to be independent again.” 

“I think it would be great. Probably benefit a lot of people.” (What about for you?) “It would mean I have a place to stay and probably it would be a decent place,” from a young man in the 30-60-90 transitional program.  

A former resident and a current volunteer said, “It would be good. There would be more freedom.”

A man in our Green Collar Jobs Program mused, “If you’re a recovering alcoholic, you don’t want to live around a bar.”   (What would it mean to you?)  He said simply, “Heaven.” 

“It would be a good step-down program, to help life level off.” (What do you mean by “life leveling off”?)  This man from our Genesis Recovery Program replied, “To gain stability, ease you back into life productively.”

When asked what it would mean to have a safe, sober, affordable home in a community, a woman from the 30-60-90 program said, “That would be something very different. You wouldn’t have the violence. You wouldn’t have to call the cops all the time. You wouldn’t have to worry about protecting yourself all the time - especially at nighttime.”  

Another woman from the 30-60-90 program said, “It would be a life change.”  After joking and laughing with another resident about not being able to drink there she said, “It would be structural change, have a setting and safety. If I had my own home, I would have potlucks.” 

I hear longing and hope in these answers and a vision of independence, accountability, safety, freedom, and stability. 

AUTHORS: MICHELLE HARPOLE, ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR; BRENDA MCFARLANE, 30-60-90 PROGRAM MANAGER