Each person that goes through our program has a unique story. We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to each of our 2018 Climbers.
A Seattle native, 26-year-old Tyra found her way to Climbing Out of Homelessness after hitting rock bottom. “I was hopeless, and living in a car,” she said, “I was pregnant with my second child and fighting to get my oldest back.” Staying clean and sober with support from colleagues and staff at the program has opened up new doors for her, and she is optimistic about the continued opportunities she will experience in this program. “This is an amazing opportunity and staying clean will bring more opportunities like this my way.”
41-year-old Nicky hails from Sartell, Minnesota and has lofty goals for her life in and beyond the recovery program. “[I want] to climb Mt. Rainier, run Ragnar, Sparta, and a half marathon.” Besides these incredible physical feats, she wants to help remedy her relationship with her family and find peace within herself through the support network of Recovery Beyond Paradigm and the strength of her own spirit. There is no doubt that her passion, faith, and desire for change will help her achieve these goals and more as she strives to become “more of who God designed me to be.”
Hope and acceptance are two of the most quintessential human desires – something we all search for in moments both big and small. Hope is also what drew Michelle, a Californian transplant, to the Recovery Beyond Paradigm program. “[I have] a need to know that I am not useless and unloved. I hope to learn to not hate who I became, and to learn how to be happy and live life to the fullest,” she says. Staying sober with the support of the climb team and building a foundation of healthy friendships offers her that beacon of hope – of finding her own value and learning who she is in Christ.
For Sarah, a native of Spanaway, motherhood was the best motivation to turn her life around. “I have these two beautiful children that I wasn’t being the best mom I can be to so I was willing to try anything,” she said of joining the Climbing Out of Homelessness climb team. 30-day-programs had failed her before, and she had to hit rock bottom before finding her way here. “[The Climb Team] is a commitment I’m sticking to!” she says, “It is a healthy replacement that gets me motivated to be strong and healthy.” Her goals outside of the climb itself include pursuing a career as a substance abuse counselor while exploring God’s truths and plans for her.
30-year-old Julie from Parkland, WA takes a God-centered approach to her climb. She feels a closer relationship with God brought her into the program and will continue to guide her through the challenges and trials ahead while she builds relationships with others and grows to “be a light in the world.” When asked why she wanted to join the climb team, Julie replied, “Going through things you never thought you’d go through will only take you places you’d never thought you’d go,” an apt message about climbing mountains in both the physical and emotional world.
Jessica of Puyallup believes that God brought her to the Climbing Out of Homelessness Program. “I needed to get clean and sober so I wouldn’t lose my children, so I wouldn’t lose my relationship with God, who loves me unconditionally even through my dark days. He brought me to the program.” Along with pushing herself physically for the climb, she hopes to maintain awareness and control over her addiction while rebuilding relationships with her family members. She is particularly excited about working together with the climb team, saying, “I get to be around other people going through similar things, and I get to step outside my comfort zone, and push my body in ways that it’s never been pushed. The climb team is a beautiful group of people there to encourage each other.”
Originally from Sacramento, CA, Colin believes the physical challenge of training for the climb and becoming physically fit will be a source of support in his recovery. He came to the program after growing tired of the life he was living, and hopes to get sober and make changes in his life.
At the age of 27, Seattle native Chris has already lived through more than many, including a stretch of homelessness and drug addiction that “nearly took my life,” he says, “After me realizing that 3 years had gone by and I had freely given away everything for that next high, I knew I needed a change and that change had to include God in my life.” He came to the Climbing Out of Homelessness program seeking a better relationship with God, a foundation in sobriety, and hoping to climb mountains and someday run marathons. He considers the fellowship of the program to be one of its major strengths. “Being a part of something bigger than yourself is a true blessing.”
Joe, a 28-year-old hailing from Longview, started using painkillers at a young age, which quickly turned to using heroin and nearly landed him on the streets. To avoid homelessness, a former counselor recommended he seek out the services of the mission, and the rest is history. He hopes to use the Climbing Out of Homelessness program to build a strong network of sober support, build a relationship with God, and mend his relationship with his family. “Through the climb team I’m able to meet many people in recovery, have spiritual experiences in nature, and instill discipline,” he says.
48-year-old Seattle native Edward hopes to use the recovery program to make significant changes in his life, ranging from strengthening his relationship with God to finding and securing housing and a job. His experience with the climb team is helping him learn teamwork and discipline. “The training is great experience,” he says.
Christian hails from Auburn, Washington, and is using the recovery program to dig at the roots of his addiction in hopes of creating lasting change. His goals include getting his depression under control, digging into how his thinking processes influenced his life circumstances, and learning more about religion and how it has and will impact his life. He looks forward to working with, learning from, and gaining inspiration from his teammates. Of the climb program itself, he says, “It is a healthy hobby that is fun and inspiring to go along with some of the more heavy psychological things I am working on. [It] gives me a feeling of accomplishment as I work on personal goals.” The intentionality with which Christian pursues his recovery are sure to serve him and his teammates well along the way.
Tom, a 27-year-old from Bothell, found his way to the “Climbing Out of Homelessness” program offered by Recovery Beyond Paradigm after a scary wake-up call. “I relapsed and ended up in the ER with alcohol poisoning,” he said. He hopes that with the help and support of the CADRE program he will be able to maintain sobriety through the course of the program and beyond. Tom is looking forward to the climb, saying, “It gives me a fun goal to work towards, and a once in a lifetime experience.”
22-year-old Jason was raised in Las Vegas and cites family as a major motivator for him in the recovery program. “My mother was struggling and trying to help me at the same time,” he says, “I’m not the uncle, brother or son that I want to be.” He struggled to find work due to his addiction, and hopes that with the recovery program he will be able to find a career to pursue and further his education. Jason’s compassion shines through when he speaks about hiking with the climb team. “I like to stay back with people who struggle a little bit because I believe it helps to have someone with you motivating them.” To him, the recovery program represents a change to continue to forge these meaningful connections with others and a new lease on life. “To me, I wasn’t present in my own life. I would be alone forever if I didn’t come here.”
Chris is a Tacoma native who has hopes of someday pursuing a career in fire and rescue. With the help of the climb team and recovery program he hopes to boost his self-esteem, discover new coping mechanisms, and focus on tools to build better relationships with others.
Stephen is a 40-year-old local who is working on centering himself and his life around God. He was brought to the program in hopes of bolstering his recovery from alcoholism and to become a better father and husband. He hopes the climb team will help him build better relationships with people by building trust and learning to work as a team to achieve goals.
Born to a preacher in Burien, Jason credits his early success in life to his foundation in faith, one he hopes to return to through the recovery program. Of his life, he says, “Due to my imperfections and following temptations I became aware I had no more ability to manage success in a responsible way. I needed help, & by my faith, I think it brought the Mission to me.” By building his faith in the company of like-minded others on the team, he hopes to access a new level of spirituality. He sees the climb as both a physical and metaphorical opportunity to rise above. “I will literally have the opportunity of a lifetime, to experience in a physical and mental way, the epic goal & reward of reaching a mountain top!” he says, “My success depends on similar principles to my recovery.”