Donovan Glascock is one of those who wasn’t turned away.
Glascock, released from jail on auto theft charges late last year, said he saw two choices for himself: go back to the streets or get help with a fentanyl addiction.
The 38-year-old said his public defender suggested the CARE campus.
“It took me several hours to come to agreement with myself,” Glascock said.
He went through detox with the help of suboxone and, months later, is now in the Supportive After Care Program, living in residential housing on campus.
Glascock was one of the lucky ones.
With its staffing gutted to just over 50%, the CARE campus has lowered capacity across the board and for months has been turning away people like Glascock.
Social Work Director KC Quirk, with the Law Offices of the Public Defender, said not having room for people at the CARE campus is “a big problem.”
“As it goes with addiction and alcoholism, there are periods of time where people are more ready than others,” she said. “… My thinking is you take somebody in as often as they’re willing to go.”
Quirk said the benefits of such an approach are twofold: you reduce the likelihood of a really negative outcome from “drinking or drugging too much” as well as teaching them job skills and providing resources for success.
She added, “If you can’t do that then people start to feel like there is no hope, there is no option.”
For Glascock, the road here was long.
“Before I was incarcerated I was out on the streets for two and a half years,” he said. “You know, I seen a lot, been through a lot, with my addiction.”
Glascock added, “My life was going nowhere and nowhere fast.”
That included running with gangs, getting locked up for drug-related offenses, sobering up – the longest stretch under two years – and then falling off again.
Glascock said “that fast life on the streets” he was used to eventually cost him his family and, most importantly, his two sons.
“I know it took a toll on their life also, from just being an absent parent,” he said.
Glascock said his eldest son has graduated high school and is working but his younger son struggles in school.
“I don’t want to put him through the same lifestyle I was put into,” he said, having lost his father to alcoholism and two cousins to a drug overdose.
Glascock said getting help was scary at first – a structure and routine that was alien to him. But, in time, he has adapted and excelled.
Had he been turned away like hundreds of others, Glascock isn’t sure he would have gotten sober.
He said, “I mustered up the strength to do it … I think it’s the best thing that happened in my life.”
As for dreams or aspirations, Glascock put it simply: “a normal life.”
“Have a family, have a job that I can wake up and go to in the morning,” he said. “I know it’s not going to be at the snap of a finger … It’s going to take time and probably a lifetime process. But I feel a lot more confident now.”