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.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Son in Prison

A few days ago I ran into a middle-aged couple on the sidewalk in front of our corporate office. They appeared to be lost, so I asked if I could help.

"Is this TLC?" They asked. "We're looking for a halfway house for our son."

I invited them to come upstairs to my office so I could explain to them what we do and how they could get their twenty-something son into our program. At first, they seemed anxious about the process. But after a few moments of conversation, they relaxed and I told him exactly what we did and how they could get their son to TLC once he was released from prison.

They seem surprised that they wouldn't have to put any money up front for him to get into our program. I explained that we had a labor group he could work on until he got his weekly service fees paid. And once he was paid a week ahead that he could go out and find his own job if he wanted to.

I told them that he would be required to work. That he would have to attend in-house groups, plus one outside twelve-step meeting a day for the first 90 days. He would also have to keep his room clean. Do chores on the property.  And submit to drug testing on demand.

All during my conversation with this couple, I saw them making almost imperceptible nods of their heads as if they agreed with everything I was telling them. At one point the mother said, "that sounds like exactly what he needs."

Before they parted, I provided them with an intake package that they could deliver to their son the next time they visited him.

Hopefully, the young man will have the same willingness that his parents do. If he does, we can help him change his life.