Success Stories

We are so proud of Porchlight resident, Daniel.  He graduated from Madison College on May 11, 2018 with an associate degree in marketing.  Daniel has always been a valuable part of the Porchlight community by showing his effervescent smile to those around him, supporting others in groups, and being a neighbor who cares about everyone around him.  Thank you Daniel for all that you do and congratulations on your great achievement!  Daniel also would like to share his story with the Porchlight community: “Porchlight really helped me. It offered the stability that I always needed.  It wasn’t any interference with people coming in late at night, or early in the morning.  There were no interruptions for me to get things done that I needed to get done.  There was not PTSD from the penitentiary with other inmates.  I felt peace.  I was able to hear peace and realize I could get some things accomplished.”

Photo: Lauren Orlofsky

"My full potential is endowed with spirituality, integrity, and humility. What I vision, I can achieve." – Daniel

Chris came to Porchlight’s Safe Haven shelter in 2014 as a drop-in guest.  He was living in his truck at the time, alongside his sister, his dog, and her cat for eight long months.  On a cold winter day in January 2015, a room opened up at Safe Haven and Chris moved in with his service dog, Binky.  He lived at Safe Haven for 10 months until an apartment opened up next door on Porchlight’s Nakoosa Trail campus, where the housing program offered a supportive community for persons in recovery.  Shortly after moving into his efficiency apartment, Chris joined the Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) program.
CCS is a client-driven program that provides services and supportive activities that assist clients with mental health and/or substance use disorders to achieve their highest possible level of functioning, stability, and independence.  In CCS, Chris has been participating in horse therapy, meets with a substance abuse counselor, and sees a psychotherapist who specializes in work with LGBTQ persons.  As someone who identifies as transgender, this is the first time in his life that Chris has been able to say the word “transgender”, and he has even started attending LGBTQ support groups with his case manager.

Through the support of the CCS program and Porchlight, Chris is excited to say that he has been sober for 4 years and has not cut himself in 3 years.  Chris is truly an inspiration, as he is someone who has endured unfathomable trauma throughout his life and yet, is one of the kindest, most caring people you will ever meet.

“The people at Porchlight taught me how to be ready to live on my own.
They encouraged me to help myself and were there for me every step of the way.” – Chris

Cory is an Army Veteran who served in Iraq with the 25th Airborne.  He was a Forward Observer, which means he spoke with all the aircraft, artillery, and mortars.  He was injured when he returned back to his station in Anchorage, Alaska.  While he was recovering from his injuries, Cory became addicted to drugs.  He continued to use after moving back home, in order to cope with his chronic pain and frustration over his traumatic brain injury.  He got clean for a little while, but relapsed and ended up on the streets.  Cory admitted himself to the VA Hospital in Madison for treatment, until he was offered a spot at Porchlight’s Veterans Transitional Housing Program (VTHP).  Cory quickly connected with VTHP staff, who he said were supportive and there for him when he was feeling down.  “I am safe here.  I don’t want to think about what would have happened to me if this place hadn’t been here.”

Cory completed the Veterans Transitional Housing Program and moved into his own apartment in the community.  Since leaving VTHP, Cory regained custody of his son and is working with a VA training program to find permanent employment.  He has now been clean and sober for over two years, and has stabilized his physical and mental health.  Cory still returns to VTHP occasionally to have a meal and share his story with fellow Veterans, helping them to regain hope for their own futures.

“I am safe here. I don’t want to think about what would have happened to me if this place hadn’t been here.” – Cory