Robert Budsock - Newark, New Jersey
Robert addresses the gaps that exist for those who are receiving treatment for addiction and working to rebuilt their lives. He shares how the people at Integrity house are fighting to rebuild their lives and reestablish themselves as productive citizens.
One obstacle that those impacted by addiction and alcoholism face is stigma. Robert attests that we shouldn't be judged based on our past, and should be given a fair chance based on who we are today.
He explains the four pillars that Integrity house sees as being important for reestablishing yourself after addiction and/or alcoholism: Transformative Addiction treatment; Recovery support (family, social, and spiritual support); Safe, affordable, and sober housing; and employment. Employment must include a living wage for people to be able to reestablish themselves and their families.
Prospective employees with a record often have a hard time getting a job due to the stigma associated with their past, and when they do get jobs they are often part-time and low wage. This causes people to work two or three jobs at a time to make ends meet.
Robert highlights that people can and do recover from addiction, and that it is up to all of us to lift each other up and give individuals the opportunity to reclaim their lives and create a better world for all of us.