By: Michelle Kaufman
For around 30 years, Andy Ray battled one form of addiction or another. After waking up in 2015 in the hospital after his third overdose, a friend asked him if he was done with his life on drugs.
He wasn’t sure he was, but he said yes anyway. With only a few clothes to his name, Ray entered the Muncie Mission.
Today, Ray has a vehicle, holds down two jobs and has his own apartment in the Mission’s transitional housing program, which targets recovering alcohol and drug addicts. He has a roommate, who also is a graduate of the program.
“This moves you toward doing what everyone else does, pretty much every day,” Ray said.
“You know, normal people. Getting that sense of, ‘Oh I gotta make these payments.’ It is something during my addiction, I didn’t worry about,” Ray said. “I bounced around. When rent came due, it was time to move.”
“I made a six-figure income and I ruined it all because of my addiction.”
These days, Ray serves as a mentor to men currently going through the program.
“I know what a difference it can be if you follow through on this,” he said. “And it’s not something I read in a book. I lived it for decades, so I know the difference.”
Most people have a stereotype of what an alcoholic or an addict might be. “I was functioning,” Ray said. “I worked at a company for over 20 years. I made more than most. I made a six-figure income, and I ruined it all because of my addiction.”
Ray says the Mission’s transitional housing program gives people the privacy they need to grow independently with the emotional support system of the Mission still nearby.
“If it wasn’t for this place, I’d probably be dead,” Ray said. “If I hadn’t came here and went through what I have to make the change in my life … The last [overdose] about killed me, I’m sure the next one probably would have.”