Timothy saw an ad on TV and called a local addiction hotline for help. Little did he know that one day he would be an operator on the other end, helping others.
Living in Pay it Forward-Clean & Sober Living dormitory housing at Haven for Hope, Timothy, 36, volunteers answering calls for the 24-hour Recovery Helpline 60 hours a week, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekends and every night after 5 p.m.
“Less than a year ago, I didn’t have any friends, and now I have people I can call and that I can trust. And more importantly, I am a person of trust that other people can call,” he said. Most calls Timothy receives are females and some are parents–especially moms who are concerned about their child. “I was that child and never heard it from the other side.”
Timothy says it’s important to him to share his personal stories with callers to let them know things can get better. He wants to be an example for them. He now has a strong relationship with his mom, stepdad and biological dad that he had lost during his addiction. “When things are cloudy for me and I am at my worst, I get a phone call and realize my purpose. It continues to save my life to this day.”
Alcohol is the most used substance by youth and adults in the United States and April is Alcohol Awareness Month. United Way supports nonprofit partners Rise Recovery, Alpha Home and Lifetime Recovery, who alongside Pay It Forward, work together to provide the Bexar County area with a 24-hour helpline at 210-SAY-CARE (729-2273) for those seeking support with substance-related issues. Here some startling local statistics:
- 49% of hotline callers are aged 17-35.
- 56% are women who often call during pregnancy, are managing childcare, and/or are in family violence circumstances.
- 50% of callers who provide a zip code are from 78207 and 78237, historically marked by high poverty.
“Synergy and compassion come together as we work with our community partners to combat addiction and its devastating effects on the individual, the family and our community,” said Evita Morin, CEO of Rise Recovery. “We understand the pain and want to help. We listen, answer questions and put our clients on a better path.”
Thank you for supporting Timothy, United Way and our nonprofit partners who are improving lives day to day – and phone call by phone call.