Samuel Lott said he was proud to wear the medal he received during the ceremony. "It signifies an accomplishment," Lott said. "That is for sure."
Lott said after spending 15 months at Haven for Hope and finding a job, he feels like he's earned it. "Now, I'm working," said Lott. "I have a place of my own and I'm feeling useful."
Graduates who have completed Haven for Hope's Innovative Transformation Program have been through various social services, including job training, education, life-skills training, and drug and alcohol treatment. All of the services are located on the Haven for Hope campus.
"You have to realize how hard it is for some of these people," said Bill Greehey, Chairman of Haven for Hope. "They've been out on the streets for 25 years. A lot of them have alcohol or drug problems. A lot of them have mental health issues. So, the first thing we do is we address the root cause."
Lott said his root cause was his addiction to methamphetamines, but he received help, moved away, and has now been on his own for three months.
He said he owes it to the staff at Haven for Hope.
"I would like to say thank you for the patience and the tolerance, for helping people with circumstances similar to mine," said Lott.
Haven for Hope graduated its first class in 2010 and since the campus opened, more than 600 people have graduated from the program.