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.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Taking Advantage

Recovering addicts and alcoholics are sometimes viewed as second class citizens. As though they owe the world something.

Now this doesn't happen as much as it used to, but if happens often enough to irritate me.

It takes different forms. A common one is for someone to ask me to have a client work at their home or business as "community service." In other words, they want free labor.

Maybe they want their yard cleaned, their house painted, or their roof repaired. When I tell them what we charge for that kind of work, they suddenly lose interest.

We actually do service projects. But for senior citizens who can't afford to pay for their own repairs or do their own maintenance. It's a pleasure to do these kinds of projects.

And sometimes we do things for other non-profits. Our volunteers did much of the sheet rock work on what is now the Community Bridges detox on Bellview street in Mesa. We also did a lot of the interior framing on a children's center on University Drive in Mesa. As well as other projects of a similar nature over the years. This is true community service.

Within the last year we've had people try to get clients to work for little or no compensation. And this week we had a businessman make inappropriate overtures to a female manager.

It says a lot about a person's character when they prey on those they think are vulnerable.