We don’t get to post many stories from the Our Step program. If you know anything about the program, then you know that most of our friends that enter the program are dealing with issues of domestic violence and we try to be as sensitive as possible during these times. Our latest candidate, Curtis entered the program 4 months ago (if you haven’t heard his story I recommend you watch his video). Curtis is currently an employee of the Samaritan Community Center (SAMCC) and was on the verge of becoming homeless. His co-workers began to spend time with him, heard his story and were moved into action. They soon realized the unbelievable potential and heart that this man has. They rallied behind him and invested time into learning the process behind the Our Step Program & helped him fill out his application. By the time he had filled out an application, we had 3 or 4 different co-workers call and recommend Curtis for the program. As soon as I met him, I realized why. Curtis has one of the most humble spirits I have ever encountered in my life. He was soft spoken, but continued to be extremely kind and grateful.
With any situation, we encountered a few bumps in the road. However, throughout his time in the program, Curtis showed tremendous initiative and responsibility. He wanted to pay back past debts, save his money and was determined to build a support community. SAMCC was able to give Curtis a new vehicle, which has helped him get to and from work and cut his previous transportation costs. Before we knew it, Curtis graduated from the program, started a savings account and is working on rebuilding his relationship with his son.
It is with this story that I am constantly reminded of the importance of relational support. Curtis is where he is today, because of the people in his life. He would tell you that the love and encouragement he gets day in and day out pushes him to make the positive decisions he is making. People like Nancy Seward, Tosh Pearson & Debbie Rambo who continually pour themselves out for others, like Curtis are the true heroes. He is currently attending a church in Bentonville, and goes every week with a few friends from SAMCC. He is building community, and with that community comes the relational support to help him succeed.
We can put people into housing, and give them the services they need. But, we are learning that true life change is created with a support structure of community. We are in the process of creating opportunities to engage in this initiative. If you are interested, or have comments, please email OurStep@cobblestoneproject.org