Somewhere To Start Out - myfoxcarolinas.com

Somewhere To Start Out

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Some addicts have no place to go.

Luckily, those in Charlotte who want to change their lives and be sober can do so free of charge. The CLT Rescue Mission is a nonprofit in Uptown Charlotte that provides rehab for men and women addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The Rebound Center is the men’s facility, serving 140 mostly homeless men. Up until eight weeks ago, the dorm, where they lived during the 90-day program, was completely run down and broken. Now thanks to the community and fundraising efforts of the nonprofit, the dorm has been renovated, floor to ceiling.

Michael Robinson, 55, is enrolled in the 90-day program. He said he was addicted to crack, cocaine and alcohol, using the substances to deal with life’s ups and downs.

He said he turned to CLT Rescue Mission after he hit rock bottom emotionally.

"Well I woke up one morning and I was just tired,” he said. “I was broke and miserable and I decided to make a change in my life and I had to go somewhere to start out."

He came into the program when the dorm was still in shambles.

"The furniture was old, it hadn’t been replaced for years, and the condition was kind of rough,” he said. “For me it was ok because I was trying to get help, but it's a lot better now."

According to CLT Rescue Mission volunteer Philip Wilson, the dorm is much better compared to what it was.

"It was kind of dreary, and the lighting wasn't good, over the years it had deteriorated,” he said. “It was just horrible living conditions."

The ceiling tiles were falling down and leaking, the carpet was grimy and old, the few showers they had ran mostly cold water and the paint was peeling. Wilson said even the beds were a wreck; they were hand built out of plywood in the 80’s and were falling apart.

But the through efforts of the community and the nonprofit, $400,000 was raised to provide the rehab dorm, with a little rehab itself.

The men in the program decided to stay through the renovations, Wilson believes, because the support they received was unlike anything they’d experienced before.

"They saw the love so they knew that we were really in for them,” he said. “(The dorm) wasn’t what we wanted but you know it was all we had."

Next up on their list of projects is the halfway house, located next to the facility on W. 1st St. Wilson said the facility and house haven’t received renovation since they moved into the location in 1954, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Many of the men were homeless and would’ve have barely survived the last snow storm we had,” he said. “Thank God they were here.”

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