i October 3rd, 2014 by Darren

The purpose of this letter is to share my experience as a guest of the Haven Men's Shelter of Manitowoc County, circumstances leading up to my stay as well as my current situation following discharge.

Approximately one month prior to the Haven I was admitted to a resident drug rehabilitation program where I stayed for 28 days. After successful completion I was ready to begin rebuilding my life which had been ravaged by years of alcohol abuse. In addition to serious legal problems, the job I worked for twelve years was now highly in question. I was out of money and with no family in the area I found myself homeless at 44 years old.

The Haven program was exactly what I needed. With the help of this program I was able to secure employment, save money and build the confidence I needed to gain independence. At the shelter, I lived with and worked alongside other homeless men who faced similar circumstances and developed a rapport with many of them. In three months I was able to pay down debt, construct a financial budget and afford an apartment as well as many other needs to get started on my own.

Since my discharge from The Haven, my job is going great, my recovery of six months is going strong, my bills are manageable and I continue to make good and responsible decisions for my future. As part of aftercare, I meet with Michael Etheridge, the Associate Director, once a month to let him know how I'm doing, challenges I may be facing and just have some friendly conversation. I also enjoy seeing the monitors each of whom I respect and admire. The guests I stayed with have moved on, but I keep in touch with a few of them and a reunion for the holidays has been discussed. I am deeply grateful for the people of The Haven Men's program. I offer a deep heartfelt thank you to the staff, the board and the volunteers. I truly hope they continue to serve homeless men of this community.