Real Recovery Goes Beyond Charity

Real Recovery Goes Beyond Charity
December 4, 2018 Gina Haines

Charity isn’t a word you hear too often anymore. It carries the connotation of a hand-out; in the extreme, the concept of charity can infantilize those receiving it and make those giving it seem arrogant and aloof.

This shouldn’t be the case. Selfless giving and accepting gifts without shame are hallmarks of our humanity. There are people in our very own communities who truly need charitable giving now. Individuals and families who have no food, no home, and no means to meet their basic needs of survival.

Without charity, we would be literally leaving these people out in the cold.

It’s true, however, that this type of charity—giving that meets people’s basic and immediate needs—does not lead to long-term solutions for problems like homelessness and the addictions that often lie at its roots.

Charity is important, and essential, and it’s just the beginning.

Community Investment for Lasting Relief, Growth, and Healing

Once basic needs are met, people can focus on making lifelong changes for more rewarding and community-driven lives. Resources to guide and promote these long-term changes are lacking, though.

That’s where Recovery Beyond Paradigm is making a difference.

Through our current programs, Climbing Out of Homelessness and Team Mission, we provide individuals already succeeding in addiction recovery programs with an additional and lasting opportunity for growth.

In Climbing Out of Homelessness, ten months of team-building and intense physical and mental training culminates in a five-day hike to the summit of Mt. Rainier—an achievement that resonates for the rest of anyone’s life. Team Mission (our companion program at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission) achieves the same results through ongoing guidance in the sport of long-distance running, an activity that is more accessible yet demands equal commitment, endurance, and effort.

Reaching the peak and making it through that last mile are memorable rewards, but it’s the trek that makes it all worthwhile. It’s the new skills and perspectives climbers and runners build along the way that leads to new lives, and new futures.

Homelessness, and the substance dependency that often precedes and is exacerbated by it, is a complex social and personal problem. Recovery Beyond Paradigm addresses the personal aspects, empowering participants with better understandings of themselves and the extent of their capabilities.

Where charity leaves off, they learn to take the next steps, confident of the ground underneath their feet.

Ending Addiction, One Step At a Time

There are hundreds of thousands of homeless people and families in the United States, and more than twenty thousand in Washington State. More than 60% of these people also suffer from a substance dependency. Ending addiction is key to ending homelessness, and to mitigating an array of problems and behaviors detrimental to the community at large.

No single program can do it all. No single approach will be the key to success.

But difficulty is no excuse, and we can do better.

If you’re interested in learning more about Recovery Beyond Paradigm, making a contribution or even joining our Fundraising Climb to experience the life-changing Rainier summit for yourself, please click here to learn more.

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