Kent, who is from Greenville, Ohio, was in the county jail, facing 15 years in prison for drug trafficking charges when he received a letter from Adult & Teen Challenge Ohio Valley. “I don’t know how I got it. I have no clue,” he said. But he’s grateful he did.
He’ll graduate in September 2023 from the year-long program and will start a new job in southwest Ohio doing electroplating.
Upon arriving at ATCOV in September 2022, Kent’s transition was fairly smooth. “I’ve been to other rehabs and been to prison a couple of times and I just wanted something different this time,” he said. The faith-based element appealed to Kent and he believes that played a big role in his successful completion of the program.
“Just the forgiveness of everything that I’d done and everybody was accepting here,” he said. “There was a lot to learn too, to become closer with Jesus. Any time before, I always looked at him as an authority figure. I didn’t really get along with authority. But now it’s more of a friend, more of a brother type of relationship.”
Kent worked as a bricklayer and injured his back. In 2008 he underwent back surgery and got a prescription for painkillers. “That’s when it all started,” he explained of the roots of his drug problem.
Kent’s wife died of a drug overdose in 2018 while Kent was in prison. But since arriving at ATCOV, his relationships with other family members have been restored.
A younger brother hadn’t spoken to Kent in several years, but when Kent needed a ride to ATCOV last September, that’s who he called.
His brother, who’s a Christian, drove Kent to the facility and when Kent graduates this month, he’ll live with his brother in southern Ohio for a while. His relationships with his sister and older brother are better too.
“It’s rebuilt my family a lot,” he said. That’s just one of the benefits he’s realized since arriving at ATCOV, getting clean and forming a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“My outlook on life” has improved, he said. “I mean, I’ve got purpose now, you know what I mean – to go and get a job and be with my family and to leave my kids well off.”
Counseling at ATCOV also helped, enabling Kent to work through his wife’s death.
His relationship with Christ prompted him to pay more attention. He plans to attend the same church as his brother and to become a member there after graduation.
“I’m grateful for a lot more things and I just have a purpose,” Kent said.