LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As part of Recovery Month, News 18 is highlighting community resources for people battling addiction and mental illness.
We're showcasing Lafayette Transitional Housing's partnership with Pheonix Paramedic Solutions.
It's through their joint effort that they're changing lives.
"Everyone knows a brother, a cousin, a family member or friend that suffers from addiction or mental illness, and today we need to bring that awareness and celebrate that there are people that can change their lives," said Phoenix Paramedic Solutions Certified Recovery Specialist Nick Cunningham. "That aren't defined by their drug or substance use."
Cunningham knows what it's like to battle addiction.
"I did eight years in prison and got out and had burned all those bridges with family," he said. "So, I had no one to reach out to except for the case managers and the people at LTHC."
Thanks to Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, Cunningham was able to get back on his feet.
"With the right support, with guidance, with friendships and help people can get on a path to recovery and people can recover from these horrible things that are happening to them in their lives," said LTHC President & CEO Jennifer Layton.
Layton said that's their mission.
"We try to bring all resources to one location," Layton said. "So, people can not only just work on their housing plan and what they need to do, but we also do health assessments for every person that comes in, and then we work with local partners to connect people to the services and the resources that they need."
Now, Cunningham is using his experience through a partnership between Phoenix Paramedic Solutions and LTHC.
He works as one of two full-time peers at the center.
"So, my job is to approach that person, let them know that I have been there, and that tends to build their trust," Cunningham said. "Once I've got their trust, I can lead them to whatever path they choose."
Cunningham is grateful for the opportunity and the life-changing help he received at LTHC
"I'd be another statistic if I wouldn't have made that connection," he said. "You know, you might see commercials that say 'connection is recovery', and it really is."
For additional mental illness and addiction resources, click here.