By Julie Soter
Beit T’Shuvah strives to imbue each of us with passion, instructing us to use our passions to help the community. Two of my passions are creating beautiful environments and interacting with people. When I first heard about the residence re-design project, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to participate, knowing that these two passions would be ignited.
Men’s Room #219 had a pleasant view of the courtyard, and that was about it. We demolished the room down to its bare bones and started from scratch, adding much more than a fresh coat of paint.
Those Who Provided moral support, product donations, labor and financial contributions…Their generosity helped fund new bedding, closets, desks, chairs, an incredible wall with vibrant messages, and a functional and attractive bathroom with a pretty cool shower head.
My Brother-In-Law, the general contractor, who schlepped to Ikea, Home Depot and Beit T’Shuvah multiple times to provide his invaluable labor and expertise.
The Artist, a recovering addict who turned his passion for illegal graffiti into a lasting, legal, stunning and startling creation on a wall at Beit T’Shuvah.
The Newly Sober Young Man who I met in the hallway one day. Still kicking, he was wearing dark sunglasses and a head covering to keep him warm. I asked him to remove his sunglasses and I saw a beautiful soul behind the still pain-wracked body…please recover your passion and discover your purpose.
The Project Supervisor, two years sober, putting in 16-hour days, 7 days a week, overwhelmed with requests (demands???) from a bunch of perfectionistic designers, never losing his cool, always trying to accommodate everyone.
The Current Residents of Room 219, a lovely gentleman who has reconnected with his children and has been able to remain sober even through the loss of his father, who loves to journal every night before going to sleep; and the vulnerable, sweet once-a-day-cigar smoker, committed to leading a better life, wanting to catch a golf tournament on his unwieldy television during his down time.
My Son, who Beit T’Shuvah breathed life back into, slowly, one day at a time, who is approaching two years of sobriety. He is the light of my life, and I am beyond grateful on a daily basis for the healing power of Beit T’Shuvah and the inner strength it has taken my magnificent boy to conquer his demons.
Today, I am fulfilled…my passions helped create a peaceful haven for the two continually rotating men who are being given the opportunity to regain their sobriety, dignity and productiveness through Beit T’Shuvah’s incredible life-saving and life-altering program.
May the current and future residents of Room 219 continue the healing process.