Employee Spotlight: The Most Authentic Voice on the Team
The following article appears in the spring 2019 issue of the Joseph’s Journey newsletter. Read the full newsletter here.
Peer Recovery Supporter, Will, Certified through the State of Ohio
It’s said that the best way to get to know someone is to “walk a mile in their shoes.” For Certified Peer Recovery Supporter Will, this isn’t just a saying to live by, but his passion.
Will struggled with addiction for many years. In 2006 he made the decision to seek treatment and hasn’t turned back since. In recovery, Will has dedicated his work to helping others who face similar struggles: homelessness, addiction, mental health issues and more. Will joined the Joseph’s Home team in 2011 as a resident support associate but was promoted to peer recovery supporter in 2018.
“When God has turned your life around and seen you out of struggle, as a peer recovery supporter you can help to be a light in the darkness for those needing support.”
When asked what he does to support the residents and alumni of Joseph’s Home, the answer is simple: “Whatever I can do to support them.” Will helps the men in residence at Joseph’s Home by meeting with them on a weekly basis to discuss their experiences and challenges. His voice is heard by residents because they know he has been in their shoes and that he has faced the same challenges they face. Will hosts group sessions with the men and transports them during housing searches. Will also goes out into the community to follow up with alumni to check on their medical and housing stability, offer any type of support they may need, and to serve as an advocate and confidant for them.
In reality, many of the men Will supports are facing several barriers: illness, homelessness, addiction, behavioral health issues, criminal records and more. In order to effectively help each resident, Will emphasizes the importance of sharing his story and building rapport quickly. It is through relationship building that Joseph’s Home best supports residents.
“Will truly inspires me. I am so impressed in his ability to survive addiction and homelessness and to purposely direct his talents and skills toward men who are going through what he faced. He extends a hand in partnership through life’s most difficult challenges with a firm belief that one can recover. I thank him for his willingness to share his story with our residents and alumni and I am honored to have Will on the Joseph’s Home team,” said Executive Director Christine Horne.
Will enjoys working hands on with the residents and alumni, serving as a role model. “The best part of my job is experiencing the men’s successes,” said Will. “I believe Joseph’s Home is like an oasis in the desert for our men. They walk in and can’t believe it’s here. I’m glad to be a part of this.” Will’s journey to recovery inspires the residents to keep going—showing them that if he can do it, so can they.