Jail, Institution, or Death!

In a recent letter to the supporters of Union Mission, I told the story of a 22 year old addicted male. His words still ring in my ears; “Jail, Institution, or Death.” I guess I never heard it put so succinctly. No doubt on his road to recovery he has heard it stated and it stayed with him.

Those are the choices that homeless and addicted people have … “Jail, Institution, or Death.” They also have the choice of recovery. Recovery is not an accident, recovery requires planning and commitment. Recovery is a choice that has to be renewed on a daily basis. Knowing that to choose differently leads to “Jail, Institution, or death.”

Each resident of our recovery program must make their own choice but we can encourage, instruct, assist, and facilitate them as they make that choice. We must also remember that “Jail, Institution, or Death” awaits the addict.

With God’s help anyone can recover from addiction and homelessness. Life change and life choices are at the root of any recovery. Letting God have the reigns of that recovery is the beginning of a successful one.

Although the choice is theirs, we must realize that they need encouragement to stay on a straight and narrow path. They need an outside influence, a calming voice, a caring touch.

I do not have to be an addict to understand the ominous words “Jail, Institution, or Death.” I have many stories of those that stated “I have one more drunk in me” and I also have stood by the grave site of the same individual that never survived that “one drunk” choice.

That is why “Jail, Institution, or Death” echoes in my ear. Union Mission exists as an alternative! A place of hope and recovery!

George E. Batten
Executive Director