I got to know John Oak when he was completing Project Able, a program at the Center of Hope that helps homeless people who are clean and sober get back in the workforce and in their own home. John stopped by to visit me last week and when I told him I was working on a story about meth addiction, he told me his story. He said he started using alcohol and pot when he was 14 and dropped out of school at 15. I’ve noticed that this is the age many addicts get started. John said he moved on to cocaine and acid, started cooking meth when he was 29 and immediately became addicted. His life became a roller coaster ride of incarcerations and rehabilitation programs that didn’t work. But in 2006, he started a prison rehab program called First Step, and began his recovery. I was surprised that First Step didn’t have a spiritual component, but still worked. John said it was the desire to build a new relationship with his father that allowed him to focus on his recovery and rebuild his life. He got out of prison in 2008 and showed up at the Center of Hope “with nothing but the clothes on my back.” He joined Project Able. He went back to work for his old employer, riding his bike the twenty miles from the Center to work and back five days a week. I admire that. John saved up enough money during his two years in Project Able to make the down payment on a new mobile home, where he now lives. Congratulations on your new life, John. You’ve worked hard to earn everything you have. Now it’s time to enjoy it!