Healing the Whole Person

Raymond’s life was unraveling. He was living on the streets, deep into addiction, and couldn’t see a way out. His friend was in VOA’s Open Arms, a program for those struggling with HIV/AIDS diagnoses, and reached out to Raymond. There was a spot open for him, and he decided to enter the program.

At Open Arms, Raymond met a team that believes in the resilience of the human spirit and showed him the power of purpose. He had access to counseling, recovery programs, and group activities. He says the staff was “a good nosy, they were attentive and wanted to know what was going on with me.” For the first time, Raymond felt as though he belonged. After about 3 months of living there, Raymond found a job. A month later, he secured housing and moved into his own space.

Today, over a year later, Raymond has been consistently clean for about 10 months. He is happy to be living in a house and loves his job as a skilled butcher. He still keeps in contact with the staff at Open Arms, as they continue to be the “good nosy,” checking in and making sure Raymond is doing well. The structure he was given at Open Arms has helped him to create lasting change, putting him back on his feet for life.