I left Newark, New Jersey and headed to Philadelphia in 2007. I was looking to change and live a clean and sober life.  I went to Outley House and it started from there. I began doing things at Outley House to help my recovery and then started going to a SELF program.  The program was in Center City. I started helping out and sweeping and cleaning up things around there in my spare time. SELF program leaders really appreciated it. I was doing it because it also helped me stay clean. They offered me a job as a peer mentor in the program and in only a couple of months, they promoted me to head peer mentor. I was really happy.  I did that for a year and was still doing my program and in recovery. I stayed clean and sober and was still working as a peer mentor and then in August 2008, I got another promotion. They asked me if I wanted to be an on-call residential aide at Safe Haven, another SELF program.  I gladly took the job! I kept working my program and the people at SELF kept on encouraging me.  They kept on telling me that I could do it.
A few years later, I believe in 2011, I was promoted again, this time to a part-time residential aide and in 2015, I was offered a job as a full-time residential aide at Safe Haven!!  My life was totally different than it was nine years before. With the help of the SELF program and team members, my life was completely transformed. SELF helped me so much. They respected me, believed in me, and loved me. They showed me they loved me. With them believing in me, I was able to believe in myself.

I love going to work every day and talking to the program participants at Safe Haven. Just like me, they came to SELF to get their lives together.   Today, I have the best life.  I get to see people like me turn their lives around. By sharing my story, I am giving to others what SELF gave to me. I let participants know that if I can do it, they can too.

I come in with gratitude, rarely call out, and help keep the house up.  I live it and continue in my recovery. With love, determination, and people in your corner, you can do anything.
Louis was named SELF's Safe Haven February employee of the month.

Louis M 3/2018

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