Jeremy had been to programs and halfway houses before, but then came Timothy Initiative. He was sitting in detox and things were in limbo as they were about to send him to a place to wait for an open room to open up when Mike Malpede, TI's Recovery Director, approached him. TI had an open bed.
“For some reason he was there.” Jeremy said, recalling that day eight months ago. He hadn’t met Mike before. “I talked to him and was offered the opportunity to (stay with TI) and wait for the Salvation Army. After a week with the guys, working, worshipping and living in community, I felt God was telling me this is where you are supposed to be.”
Jeremy sure needed some stability in his life. He’d grown up in Denver, and then moved his wife and children to Arizona, but after a couple of DUIs and losing his career and marriage he soon found himself on the streets of Houston, Texas. There, he had the Salvation Army’s phone number in his pocket for when he’d grow tired of those streets. He eventually did. And then he left Houston and moved down to Tampa Bay, first living in Clearwater. Things were still tough there, especially an incident when he was jumped on the streets of Clearwater, someone punching him in the mouth. He had to have his jaw wired shut for weeks and was drinking through a straw.
Eventually he made his way over to Tampa, which was when he went to the detox and Mike found him.
“I am glad that Mike just happened to be at the detox,” he said. And apparently the counselor on staff also made an extra effort, advocating for him to stay an extra day to go to TI.
A lot of things fell into place to make this impossible, not to mention the charitable giving that provided for Jeremy’s bed. TI runs a Sponsor a Bed campaign that collects money in order to provide opportunities like this one – for someone to come and encounter Jesus, find community and walk in the light of who they were intended to be.
And that’s likely what makes TI so special.
“Having been to programs and halfway houses before this idea of community rather than a program at a set time is radically different. Most of the guys have been there a year or more choosing this as a lifestyle rather than a program. You can see the effectiveness simply by looking at the numbers and individuals’ success. It is the combination of community, love, and support. It is a focus on following Jesus, learning new skills, both social and working construction. That really make this so different,” Jeremy said.
By giving $125 a month you can sponsor a bed, providing an opportunity to another person who needs a new sort of stability, like Jeremy did.