GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In the midst of the Heritage Hill neighborhood is a house of hope.
“When I found my passion, I found my purpose and this is my passion,” Roderoc Townes, house manager at Sanford House at John Street for Men, said.
Townes works at Grand Rapids’ Sanford House at John Street, an all-male residential and nonresidential rehab and treatment facility. He helps put broken men back together. It reminds him of his own journey to recovery.
“I love working with people just like me,” Townes said.
The people inside the house are drug addicts.
“If a hopeless, crack addict like me can get clean and stay clean, anybody that comes through the doors of Sanford Treatment and Addiction Center can as well,” Townes said.
From the dinner table to a common area in the house, Townes shares his own testimony. For decades, he said he numbed his childhood pain of low confidence and self-esteem with drugs.
“It was a way to kill myself slowly because I was too much of a coward to put a pistol to my head,” Townes said.
Rae Green, founder and president of Sanford House at John Street, said she aims to give men, like Townes, a reason to live.
She said her healing process helps up to 20 men at once. The program provides intense individual and group therapy, relapse prevention classes and wellness programs, among other forms of support.
“There’s a culture of silence around the disease of addiction,” Green said.
Green works to break that silence by giving men, who are at least 18 years old, a shot at redemption. It’s a $16,000 investment she says that will help the men find freedom when they leave.
“The healing process goes on much longer than their stay in residential treatment,” Green said.
Green told News 8 that the longest time any man has ever stayed at the treatment facility was 90 days. In the time he has to make a difference, Townes reminds those recovering that transformation is possible.
“There is hope,” said Townes.
Anyone in need of help may enlist in services on Sanford House’s website.