We are blessed in Building Veterans to have seen some remarkable changes occur in the life of a number of people, not all of whom were program participants. Our recidivism rate is below 10% and our addiction recovery rate is over 70%. We track: how many people came to us from jail, versus how many ever returned to jail, how many of our people, 6 months, a year, 2 years after starting our program, returned to their addiction?
We are a “salt and light” organization we strive to make a positive change in our adopted community.
I was in jail: We have started a “Thriving Post Trauma” program in the local detention center. The outcomes of this course can be seen in several ways. The amount of fights and other disciplinary action is greatly reduced as detainees work in our program.
I was hungry: Our men are blessed by the generosity of the local food bank and now volunteer so regularly that the food bank depends on their weekly labor.
I was a stranger: in many small ways, our men are building up the wider community while at the same time growing in their own recovery. A few examples: A young boy fighting stage four cancer spends every Thursday afternoon at our house playing games with men in the program. They look upon him as an inspiration. One of our men holds a small children’s hour every Wednesday during the warmer weather. The men mow lawns and shovel snow for our neighbors in need. They will invite a stranger, maybe someone riding the rails or someone hiking the Appalachian trail, to be at the house for a hot homecooked meal.