Darryl Craighead

Darryl Craighead, 61

Darryl Craighead’s relationship with drugs and rehabilitation programs was one of a never-ending cycle. He had completed plenty of programs and they all ended the same way… with Darryl getting high again as soon as he left their premises.

Darryl Craighead

After years of destroying and rebuilding his life, Darryl was convinced that he had a much better chance of sustaining his sobriety if he could find a program that lasted longer than the previous ones he attended for a year.

He called around to numerous shelters and found a program that had a 3-step process that extended past a year. If Darryl successfully completed the first 30 days, then he would be admitted into their 6-month program; upon completion of the 6-month program then he would be immediately admitted into the year-long program which would be a total of 17 months.

While on his way to check in for the first 30 days, Darryl walked by a familiar building, Central Union Mission. “I was headed to sign up for the first 30 days, and a guy that I was talking to on the street said, “You know they do programs in there for the homeless.” I was shocked because I’d walked past the building many times, but I had no idea that it was a shelter.”

Darryl decided to make a detour that would ultimately change his life. “I went inside and talked with the Chaplain for a little bit. I asked if they had any space for me and decided to be a resident of Central Union Mission.”

Joining a longer program was the first step to maintaining his sobriety, but Darryl quickly realized that there were deeper issues that needed to be exposed to be resolved. He often found himself in tears for reasons he couldn’t explain, but through the 18-month Restoration and Transformation program, Darryl was able to confront the childhood abuse that ultimately led to him running away from home at the age of 18. “I was depressed; and I had a love/hate relationship with my father. He beat me and my siblings every day, but on the other hand, he taught me how to fix and repair anything. I never forgot those skills.”

The Restoration Transformation Program in conjunction with the Workforce Development Program nurtured and enhanced those skills that Darryl learned as a child. The goal of the Workforce Development Program is to equip participants with the necessary skills to be successful before leaving the facility. Through mock interviews, educational classes and work therapy, participants are prepared for a smooth transition back into society as hard working, law abiding citizens.

Darryl took full advantage of the resources available at Central Union Mission and as a result, he recently received a job offer from M&M Property Services where he will be their on-site concierge. In addition to his new job, Darryl is on track to move into a permanent home with the help of his housing counselor.

When asked what he attributed his success to, he said, “None of the other programs I went to were faith based. That’s what was different this time…this program gave me what I needed to succeed, but more importantly it gave me the relationship with God that I wanted and needed most.”

Story by Lillian Price



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