Addicted to cocaine since 13, Derek finally tried a recovery program. “In my heart, I was doing it for my wife,” he says. “But the program didn’t focus on the real problem…they didn’t want you to talk about what was really going on.”

He stayed clean…for a while. But slowly, old patterns returned. “I started falling off a little bit at a time, then I’d get clean again and fall back off.”

His relapse made Derek feel hopeless that he’d ever change, and that hopelessness spread throughout his life. “I lost my job. I couldn’t find work.” His wife and daughters tried to encourage him, but he says, “I felt pretty low.”

This all led to the day where Derek was on a bridge, ready to take his own life. Thankfully, a police officer stopped him in his attempt and called his wife, who met him at the hospital. They searched together for a program, and found Open Door Mission. Derek was ready. “I told my wife, ‘I’m not just doing it for you this time. I’m doing it for me,’” he remembers. “I was tired, fed up with the addiction.”

When he got here, Derek was scared. There were rough patches over the first few months, including marriage troubles and one of his daughters experiencing a near fatal car crash.

Those experiences made Derek work even harder to kick his addiction for good. “I dug in. I didn’t try to change the program to fit me…I changed to fit the program.” After just three weeks, he remembers, “My wife saw a huge difference in me. She’s been my rock for so long…and she just won’t give up on me.”

He’s grateful to the people here who have encouraged him as he’s healed from the pain of his addiction. “The staff is amazing,” he says. “They really love us…and I feel that. Even Tommy [Thompson, President/CEO] interacts with us and teaches some of our classes.” Today, Derek is a changed man! “I just feel the presence of God here, I really do,” he says, smiling. “I give Him all the credit…God’s worked wonders for me in this short time.”