Jewish Journal


December 24, 2012

From Prison to Purpose



By Danny G.

For forty years I have been an addict, alcoholic and criminal and on September 1st, 2012 I was released from prison after almost 12 years of incarceration. I learned of Beit T’Shuvah about a year prior to my release and started writing to Carrie Newman in Beit T’Shuvah’s Alternative Sentencing Department. Being tired of my old way of life, Carrie gave me hope that Beit T’Shuvah could help me start over and learn how to live well. When I finally arrived at Beit T’Shuvah it was 1 am and that’s when the magic started. I was greeted with open arms by a warm and compassionate staff and residents that made me feel like I was someone. I felt like I was part of a family. I was given a treatment team to help me transition from the past and guide me into a future I could have only dreamed about—being a productive, sober man. Soon after I tried to locate my daughter Heather who I had not seen in over 6 years and after 30 days of searching I had no results. On one of monthly visits to my parole agent he said to me, “your daughter called she’s looking for you and wants to see you.” I just about broke down in his office after he gave me her number. And strangely enough two weeks prior I told my therapist I had a vision of seeing Heather at our Friday Night services. Putting the plan into action I arranged a ride and when I called Heather she mentioned Bruce wanted to call me. Bruce is my brother who I hadn’t seen in 12 years. That Friday night they both came and we got to see each other, spend time enjoying the service, dinner and being reunited. Beit T’Shuvah has given me back a life—clean and sober and with spirituality I didn’t know I still had. I was raised Orthodox and thought that feeling was lost forever and with it the desire to do the right thing. The miracle of having my daughter back in my life and the way it all came together in this place is truly magic— Beit T’Shuvah changes lives. I am living proof this transformation has happened in just three months and it’s just beginning. I am learning to love myself and live well. I owe Beit T’Shuvah my life, and the magic has just started.

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