I literally have the coolest job in the world, though I really don’t think of it as a job….It’s just this amazingly fulfilling, fun thing I get to do every day. I believe I am doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do today.
My role at Rejuvenate Homes evolved organically and 100% as the result of constantly and unwaveringly focusing on 2 things; my recovery and service to others. It started when I came to Minnesota for inpatient treatment at The Retreat. After treatment I moved into The Dayton House as a resident. On the one year anniversary of my sobriety, I was asked to serve as House Manager at Dayton House. Several months later I started doing marketing and admissions on a part time basis. That role became a full-time position in November 2017 and a year later I became Executive Director.
Full disclosure; I never intended to stay in St. Paul. I had struck a bargain with a generous benefactor that they’d finance my badly needed treatment if I agreed to do it at The Retreat and then go to Sober Living for 6 months. My plan was to get back to my so-called life in New York ASAP. As it turned out, the universe had a way different plan……a much better plan. I’ve since learned that this is invariably the case when I get the heck out of the way.
I arrived in treatment feeling hopelessly addicted to opiates (and a few other substances,) completely broken in every way…. physically, spiritually, mentally. I was a total mess and really scared....fully broken and broke. During my 30 days in The Retreat, somehow the simple message of recovery through the 12 steps got through to my messed-up brain. I realized that in order to stay sober and thrive, I was going to have to work a legit program of recovery, change everything and everyone in my life and immerse myself in the community of recovering people. Frankly, I was no better when I left treatment than I’d been when I got there. If anything, I was worse, in fact I was one of the guys in treatment that everyone sort of said “he’s so screwed!” I arrived at Dayton House broken and broke....yet with a tiny glimmer of hope based on what I'd experienced in The Retreat. I had one month of sober living paid for, 2 weeks left on a pre-paid cellphone and $3 in my pocket....From that low point sprung the best life I could ever imagine. I am certain that my time spent in a Rejuvenate Homes Sober Living environment, in the heart of the St. Paul Minnesota community of recovering people was the absolute difference maker....also it's important to note; it was a lot of fun!
In sober living I found a diverse, supportive environment in which I was able to safely take the necessary time to work the steps, to truly become fully immersed in the recovery community and to build a strong foundation of recovery. This does not happen overnight. It does not happen in 30 days of treatment.It does not happen in 2 or 3 months . It’s a process. It takes time. Living in a 12 step based and community focused sober house gave me the time to do it safely, with lots of support, structure and accountability. It gave me the time to grow and to build the relationships I cherish so much today. Just today I've texted repeatedly with a couple of the guys I lived with in Dayton House. They're still in my life and a part of my "village" years after we actually lived together.
Today I don’t see myself ever leaving this place. The community of recovering people here in St. Paul is flat out amazing. I believe that immersion in the recovery community and helping men find and grow their own community of other recovering men are the primary functions of a quality Sober Living Environment. That’s what all of us at Rejuvenate Homes focus on every day. We are constantly living our mission and looking for new ways to help people in early recovery find what we’ve found.
I am always available to talk with anyone who's trying to figure things out...men and women new to recovery, family members, anyone. Call me any time. 612-756-9339!
The Minnesota House
I grew up just across the border in Wisconsin. My life had been in a steady decline from the time I started drinking. Eventually, after years of substance abuse, my world became smaller and smaller, until it was just me, a bottle,and a whole lot of problems.
By the grace of God and a loving family, I found that faith was able to do for me what I could not do for myself. I CAN get better. I CAN live a life free of drugs alcohol. And I CAN be happy. The Minnesota House has given me a place to call home where I have a chance to put my life together one step at a time. During my time as a resident at the Minnesota House. I have been able to turn my life around. I have and continue to work a program of recovery that is based on taking an honest look at myself, building a strong support system, and providing service to others.
Being able to give back what was so freely given to me is easily the most fulfilling part of my experience here. I feel blessed to have now been given the opportunity to pass this on to guys in early recovery as a Rejuvenate House Manager.
I work at Discount Tire for a living, I love making and listening to music, and I couldn’t be happier now with how much my life has changed since finding recovery.
I was raised most of my life in Forest Lake, MN (just north of the twin cities). I first learned about addiction and alcoholism from watching my amazing single father struggle with drinking. I always told myself that I would never be an alcoholic, and that worked until I went to college. Soon I was using and abusing almost any substance that was in front of me. But it wasn’t until I survived a traumatic incident that it became clear that I only had one way of coping with life; drugs and alcohol. The road to my rock bottom began with a prescription for opiates, and ended with me being homeless and in jail facing a felony charge. I was all out of lies with no more tricks up my sleeve. Completely broken down and alone I finally surrendered. On March 19th, 2019 the road to my recovery began. I agreed to do whatever it took in order to get sober, which meant admitting that I didn’t know what was best for me. It also meant humbly following the suggestions from those who somehow figured out not only how to deal with life without substances, but enjoy life without substances. I went to The Retreat inpatient where it was recommended that I do an additional 30 days, so I agreed. Then it was recommended that I go to The Retreat’s sober house, so I agreed. I was told to put my recovery and higher power first, so I did. I made mistakes, but I learned how to own up to them and learn from them. What keeps me sober has been meaningful relationships with other women in recovery and service to others. I went from living a life centered in self pity and self seeking to living a life centered in being of service. I am now able to see that my past is not something I want to hide, but instead something I want to use in order to help other women see that they are worthy and capable of a beautiful and sober life.
House Manager - The George House
Being a part of Rejuvenate Homes was 1 of the 3 best decisions I made for my recovery. The people I’ve met here have made me stronger as a person throughout my recovery.
To get here I first had to surrender my ego, listen to others and receive their help – on this idea I have been tested many times since. My sobriety started from a whirlwind trip to Hazelden in Center City. I learned many things about my alcoholism and other mental blocks I had.
After Hazelden I moved into the St. Paul House. I switched careers from a union digital machine operator in the printing business after 10+ years. With the help from counselors, family, and my house manager, I realized that this job was not conducive to a healthy recovery, so I quit.
Rejuvenate Homes gave me an opportunity to start over my life – I drove UBER while also volunteering as a Crisis Counselor, volunteering as an assistant in a Foster Care Health program -- and attending many AA meetings. Eventually, I landed a job as a Youth Worker for Division of Indian work, where I was volunteering.
Being a house manager, a Crisis Counselor, and a Youth Worker would never have been possible without the help from the people I’ve met in recovery. It’s been amazing and I’m glad I’ve been given the responsibility to manage the George House.
House Manager - The Twin Cities House
Ever since leaving Hazelden’s 35 day impatient program in Center City, and four months at Hazelden’s Fellowship House, Rejuvenate has been home for me. First as a resident for a year, and then, most recently, for the last 2 years, as a sober house manager. I was told by my counselor’s at Hazelden, that if I really wanted to stay sober, my greatest chance was by living in a sober house in Saint Paul for at least a year. Rejuvenate Homes has been a life saver for me. They are the highest quality sober living facilities in Saint Paul and I cannot stress how important they have been in my 3 years + of sobriety. Living and now managing a Rejuvenate home, has been invaluable to my sobriety. The daily contact with a community of men in early sobriety allows me to not only work the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but to live it 24 hours a day.