GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A program to help those battling substance abuse get back on their feet is marking the event that sparked its inception.
In February 2018, Target 8 introduced you to Tyler Trowbridge; 33, homeless and addicted to heroin. The investigation spurred some of Trowbridge’s high school classmates to rally around him and help lift him out what seemed like an impossible situation.
Dirt City Sanctuary was born. It’s a community housing project that focuses on supporting those facing substance use disorders and homelessness. Trowbridge said the stability of a place to stay set him on a path to recovery, and the support of his friends kept him going.
“Everything we’ve been doing is happening really quickly because there’s this urgency with the opioid epidemic in particular,” said Stacy Peck, Trowbridge’s classmate who reached out after the Target 8 investigation.
The organization is holding a fundraising gala on Feb. 26, which marks 1 year since Trowbridge decided to get sober.
“Sometimes it doesn’t seem like I ever lived that life,” Trowbridge said. “But then other times, it seems like it was yesterday.”
He said his story is proof that people struggling with addiction can get clean and that he wants to give others hope.
The gala will be held Feb. 26 at Watermark Country Club. WOOD TV8 anchor Emily Linnert will emcee. Tickets, which are on sale for $65, can be purchased online.