Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From Slacker to Social Worker

Some emails make our day.  And this is one of them because it explains so simply what TLC is about. (Only first names are used for anonymity.)

“Dear Mr. Schwary,

I wanted to thank you for allowing me to work and live at your facility here in Tucson. If it wasn't for people like Mike C, Red M, Marvin S, and Jack M, I would probably be dead right now.

 I can tell you first hand that when I first walked into the office doors, I was another addict looking for the easy way out. It was my second time at TLC and I had a balance. I never went to job search and would just sign into day labor to make it appear that I was doing the right thing.

Mike C saw right through me and about two weeks into my stay, he called me in the office and said, "You are behind in your service fees to the amount of $550. Unless I receive some type of payment by Friday, I will have to let you go." 

I walked outside the office and did another foxhole prayer, praying for another bail out. Someone who was working the gem show offered me a job handing out flyers. I took it. I started to believe in the program and I wanted to tell you that I am grateful for everything these people (and yourself) have done for me. 

I am currently a senior at the ASU School of Social Work here in Tucson, AZ working toward my BSW. I hope to enter into the Master’s Program and obtain my MSW by the spring of 2015.

 I just wanted to thank you for giving me the chance to excel and have a rich life once again.


John M, BHPP”