When a case worker first told Ethan about Christ House, he replied, “I haven’t heard of it.” The case worker shared that Christ House was a place for men experiencing homelessness with acute medical needs to rest and recover.
“I said okay, sure. I didn’t even think about it. I knew if I went back out [to the streets] I would’ve kept drinking and smoking which wouldn’t have been good,” says Ethan. He was staying at the hospital for short time after undergoing surgery for his fractured ankle.
When he first arrived at Christ House, Ethan says he immediately felt invited: “…the care I was getting, the greeting. I knew I had to be here to heal. I wanted to get away from my addiction.” Until the beginning of the pandemic, Ethan had been sober for two years. Then, after suffering the traumatic loss of a loved one Ethan lost his job, was living in an abandoned building, and started drinking again.
That night I broke my ankle – it was good it happened. It was a sign from God telling me I want you to get out of this place you’re staying at. Get off the streets and do something else or you’re gonna hurt yourself. I’m thankful to have common sense now, thankful that I was given the chance to come here, and thankful that I accepted I needed help – enough was enough.
During his time as a Christ House patient, Ethan participated in the New Day Program: A nine-week intensive in-house recovery program led by our Addictions Counselor. Ethan shares, “I’m thankful to participate in New Day. When I was introduced it wasn’t mandatory but that’s where I wanted to be. I had suppressed so much anger and emotions in my system and soul. I needed to let it all out. To overcome my adversities in the past and start being joyful.”
After his surgery, it took time for Ethan’s foot to heal. Christ House’s nursing staff provided support every day by rewrapping his foot which had surgical stitches, applying ointment, and notifying his surgeon when it seemed like the stitches were coming out. After another stay at the hospital where his foot needed a washout from a bacterial infection, Ethan’s foot slowly healed.
I got my equilibrium back. I felt myself getting back together slowly.
He regularly went to physical therapy where he received a band for exercises. They also had him walking up and down the steps a little bit at a time to work on his foot movements. Ethan says physical therapy was very helpful. By Christmas time, Ethan was walking on his ankle again.
In the past year, Christ House medical staff has also provided Ethan with medication for his allergies and high blood pressure, and he is regularly seeing a psychiatrist. Ethan has felt real change in his overall wellbeing since he first came to Christ House last year, and our medical team has noticed a real difference as well. Christ House’s Nurse Practitioner Mari Lowe says, “It’s been lovely to see Ethan blossom at Kairos and grow comfortable with the community.”
Since joining the Kairos Program, Ethan shares that he has a good support group. “The men there are really nice…They all want what I want which is to be clean, sober, and live a life full of fun without the alcohol and drug use. Since being there it’s been really good. I don’t have any depression. I pray more, do my Daily Bread, watch TV, listen to music.” Ethan also participates in the work program at Kairos where he serves meals in the kitchen, sweeps, mops, and wipes down counters and tables. us.
When I come over in the evenings and hear ‘thank you’ and men that call me by my name…it’s a grateful feeling…an upbeat place. People really care here. I feel 100 percent…Things aren’t always going to be perfect and I had to realize that. I cope better now with a lot of adversities and things out of my control. I had to realize I’m not a Superman, but, in my own words, I’m a superpower. I have a superpower. I’m at peace with myself today.
*This Kairos Member’s name has been changed for privacy.