Tommie arrived at Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley in August 2022 from Long Beach, California. He was at a church service in California when he realized he didn’t want to continue living the way he had been, using drugs from the time he was 17, hanging around with gang members, living on the streets.
Tommie used a variety of drugs and overdosed last year on embalming fluid. “My heart stopped,” he said. Tommie’s sister lives in Youngstown and kept urging him to go to ATCOV. “Obviously the Lord didn’t want me to come anywhere else,” he said. “He wanted me to come to Ohio and leave my playground so he could speak to me.”
Tommie has learned coping skills at ATCOV that will enable him to keep from returning to his old lifestyle. He says he’s grateful to the therapists and the counselors at the facility for what he’s learned and how they’ve helped.
Now Tommie is healthier and feels much better than he did before he got clean. “The counselors really care and they show you they care, they don’t just tell you,” Tommie said. “They will tell you what you don’t want to hear. And it helps you though. It’s not to put you down or make you mad. How they word the words that they tell you, will straighten you up. And it’s not being mean at all. It’s actually out of love.”
Tommie will graduate in August 2023 and hopes to one day run his own business. But his shorter-term goals include being a staff intern at ATCOV. “I want to stay here and let the guys know how to get through this because you do have to have a personal relationship with the Lord,” Tommie said. “That’s the only way it’s going to go right.”