It is my privilege to share my experience of the treatment I received at New Hope.. My name is Renee, and I am an addict. I have been struggling with the disease of addiction since a very young age. The getting and finding ways to get more was my life for many years. I've been in and out of the system, all my offenses drug related. I've had three prison numbers and have been through numerous treatment facilities. I was what most people would call a hopeless variety.
I had known about the New Hope Program for many years, and had several friends tell me I needed to go there. My only regret was not listening to them earlier. But for various reasons, I was not willing to commit.
In July of 2002, I was arrested once again. Because of my lengthy prison record, I was looking at quite a substantial amount of prison time, if convicted. That did not stop me. While incarcerated I continued to use whenever possible. I had reached a place of complete hopelessness. My will to try anymore, or even live, was dim.
On August 13th, 2002, I made a phone call home to my parent's house, and was informed that my father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. That same evening his lungs collapsed and he was taken to the hospital. I can't express the feelings in that moment, but the combination of them all took me to my knees. In my jail cell I surrendered that day to the Lord, and I have not used since.
A fire was relit in me, and my will to fight and to live came back. I became willing to do whatever it took to make it. I knew I would need help and so I began to write various drug programs. Once my violation was up I would be able to bail out of jail and continue fighting my cases from the streets. I also knew I needed to go directly into a program, knowing too well how cunning this disease is, I didn't want any time to lapse in getting out and going in somewhere.
After writing so many programs and always getting the same reply, "once you're out, contact us to make an appointment for an assessment", I began to get frustrated. In a final attempt, I called New Hope and talked directly to the Program Director, Anita Garnica. She agreed to come to the jail to do an assessment with me. I believe she knew I was sincere and took a chance with me. I will be forever grateful to her for that, and so much more.
I entered New Hope on 11/05/02 and resided there until 07/18/03 and then I moved into the New Hope transitional house for women, where I lived for approximately four months before relocating to Half Moon Bay to care for my parents.
New Hope has given me my life back. I could never have, nor continue to walk through the obstacles I have had to face without the life skills New Hope has given me. I have witnessed the staff at New Hope going above and beyond to help those who want to help themselves. They have taught me so much about myself and life. I could go on and on. To name a few, I have learned self-discipline, self-honesty, and living skills, and continue to seek the advise and guidence of New Hope throughout the challenges in my life.
My father went to be with the Lord December 28th and I was blessed to be with him through his last days. What a gift. My mother's health is declining also and I will continue to be here for her until she joins my father. Finally, I am able to give back.
My prison sentence, I was given an eight year joint-suspended sentence and placed on a three year probation period. That is a miracle in itself. I discharged off parole February, 2004.
I continue to attend New Hope's aftercare groups whenever I am able. Their on-going love and support continues to see me through whatever life throws my way.
Living life on it's terms isn't always easy, but knowing that I am not alone has helped me to walk through alot, and come out a better person on the other side.
I would like to add a personal thanks to Gene Radino, the administrator and founder of New Hope, who founded a place to restore hope back into the life of the addict. To you and all the staff at New Hope, thank you. Your effect on my life has awarded me with the tools and skills needed to seek out support wherever I live, and to walk through whatever I will have to face the rest of my life.
For those of you out there who have given up hope, as I had, there is a place you can go.....called New Hope.
I believe we are here for a reason. As each day unfolds, I see less of the shadows and more of the sun. Come join me in the sun..