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Earl's Place

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A Project of United Ministries, Inc.

1400 E. Lombard St.

Baltimore, MD 21231

 

 

Arthur often joked to visitors of Earl’s Place, “You wouldn’t have wanted to have met me on the street before I came here,” and left it at that. His drug addiction had taken full control of his life, he says. “I was engaging in animalistic behavior, living day-to-day to use.” If he wasn’t incarcerated, he stayed with whichever woman he was seeing. When she’d throw him out, he stayed in abandoned buildings.

 

He knew that if he was going to turn his life around, he was going to need help. After his second incarceration, Arthur says, “I knew I was done. I was too old for drugs. I was slowly losing everything I valued.”  The rehabilitation and housing programs he turned to gave him the structure and information he needed to get clean, but they didn’t help him grow to rely on himself. He describes one of the programs as “a military-style setting,” where he had to be up at a set time each morning or face disciplinary action.

 

 

"Earl was homeless for six years before he reached out for help..."

Read Earl's full story.

His first experience with entering into Earl’s Place told him that this approach would be different. “When I first got here, the case manager sat me down with the program manual and said, ‘This is a contract. When you sign it, you are telling me that you will follow the rules laid out here, and that you are willing to face the repercussions.’ I read it through, and I saw that it was fair, and I was ready to man up and face the consequences if I didn’t meet the expectations.” It was affirming for him to sign an agreement that recognized that if he was going to support himself, he would need to take charge of his life. Arthur says that defining with the case manager what he wanted from his time at Earl’s Place reinforced that for him: “At Earl’s Place, you’re part of making your own direction. It’s your decision-making process.”

That empowering approach wasn’t something that was coming just from the program structure at Earl’s Place. The other residents played a huge role in showing Arthur what was possible through the program. “They were accomplishing a lot, but they told me, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be able to do it, too.’”

They were right. The Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services connected him with computer training at Goodwill, and his teacher was so impressed by his responsibility and work ethic that he recommended him for a position as a security guard there. They hired him for the full-time position, and in January he graduated from Earl’s Place and moved into his own apartment.

Now he’s looking to help other men who went through the same things he did. He intends to go to school to be certified as an addiction counselor, since Goodwill will pay for part of his tuition. It’s a way for him to help other men establish the same kind of foundation that he created for himself at Earl’s Place. “At Earl’s Place, I got a new beginning, a new purpose, and an extended family,” Arthur says. “People come in with one attitude, but leave a totally different person. That’s the transformation of being at Earl’s Place.” It’s a transformation that Arthur proudly bears witness to every day. 

Donate today to give a second chance to more men like Arthur.

 

Read Earl's story.