Twelve years ago, Charles Thibodeaux thought that if he left Long Island, NY, and moved to Washington, DC, he could escape the "madness" that was his drug addiction, but instead he learned that "he was the madness." After trying gateway drugs as a young man, he found himself addicted to crack and unable to stay employed. He spent time in prison and was alienated from his son and his wife Veronica, whom he married in 1992.
Then a friend told him that Central Union Mission was helpful for someone who wanted to shed his addiction. He came to the Mission in 2009 ready to start his life over. While he already believed there was a God, he learned at the Mission that he could trust God to have authority over him. After raising himself without help from a mother or father, Charles was finally ready to let God be in charge.
He joined the Spiritual Transformation Program, where he most enjoyed Phase 2 living at Camp Bennett and having time for intense Bible study: "What the STP taught me helped me get closer to God." He graduated from the program in November 2010 and now has a job as a supervisor and driver at the Mission. He is living in Maryland with his wife and has recently reunited with his oldest brother. He contacts his son who is incarcerated as much as possible and hopes to help him become a follower of Jesus, too.
He says, "The Mission has been great to me. At one time, I couldn't even handle $5, but with the Mission's help, I have my own checking and savings accounts now and better know how to take care of the money I'm earning. It's a change for me big time! I have a lot to pay back, too, with my irresponsibility over the years."
On June 14, 2011, he is accomplishing a long-held goal: graduating from Ballou STAY High School, in Washington, DC. Then he hopes to start college classes to become a certified addictions counselor.