How it works is the 1st of a monthly column by our very own ( Member, Alumnus, BBQ Master, CEF Opportunity Class Teacher, Sage of Sayings) Mike Wood.
Let’s get right to it. I first thought I should tell you the all too familiar tale of mine but thought better of it because how I came to be homeless is far less important than what I was willing to do about it. But it is my life experiences that qualify me to do what it is I attempt to do.
I watched the Academy Awards last night so I would first like to thank all the county jails, the treatment centers, the Community House and a special shout out to Craven and Duplin County Correctional. How cool is it to have a job where you want to highlight all the mistakes you’ve made on your resume.
There are many organizations out there that teach these life style courses but I am not aware of any that provide the follow up and support provided by our advocates.
In most cultures it is the old that teach the young folks how to achieve success within that community. It did not work that way for me. Forty years of drinking and drugging had taught me but one thing. What I was doing was not working. The good news there is that in my acceptance of my utter failure as a human I would become teachable.
The way I see it we have two major goals for this organization. The most obvious is to provide assistance to our members. While the other is to provide an experience for the advocates that is taught in no class room on any campus. I believe that it is one thing to read about the importance of being of service to others while another to actually get out there and do it.
My approach to teaching the curriculum of our Opportunity Class is always centered in trying to make the subjects relevant to their current lives. That is something of a hard sell when you’re trying to tell them the importance of straightening out their credit when they spent last night on the ground.
They’re all adults and as such I try hard not to tell them what they should do but I am never reluctant to tell them what I did. This approach seems to work pretty well and I look forward to a long involvement with this group that has done so much for me.
I could tell you a whole lot more but I will save the rest for future news letters. In closing I would just like to say that sometimes I feel like the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I find it hard to conceive that my redemption could have happened but for my association with CEF and for that I will be eternally grateful.