In the beginning, drug court participants in Weld County simply followed the 18-month program to battle their addictions to drugs and alcohol, but over time the program has morphed in to something much greater. According to Greeley Tribune, these participants quickly made their way in the program, as they branched out into service projects. They painted a house to help others, they wrapped Christmas presents for needy children, and they raised money to help fight drug addiction. The power of giving became a new addiction, and DREAM Sober Living Group formed.
The group’s members are active drug court participants and graduates. The service-club is now completely self-supported, member operated, and intent on helping others while helping themselves through drug court and even beyond. Next month, this group will present at the annual conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, which will take place in Knoxville, Tennessee. They hope that their program can become a pilot for other programs such as this one. They will also be presenting at a state-wide conference next week.
One drug court graduate said in reference to DREAM Sober Living Group, “It was our thing. It was something we could control after all of that crap, and being involved in the legal system, and feeling like we didn’t have a purpose. This group has given us the power to forge on and be in control of something we believe in.”
Weld County began drug court in 2008. They have had 79 participants, with 20 graduates. The president of DREAM, Nathan Goolsby, has been in the drug court program for a little more than a year. He said, “The institutions always try as hard as they want to make a program that works, but addicts working for themselves are always more successful.” This DREAM experiment showed drug court officials that allowing addicts to control a little bit of their own destiny, such as the DREAM (Devoted, Recovering, Empowered Achieving Miracles) group, they can and will take responsibility for their future.
Soon, the group will file its paperwork to become a nonprofit organization, making its efforts official to ensure members can continue painting houses, cleaning yards, collecting food for the Food Bank, wrapping gift boxes, talking to middle schoolers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and conducting fundraisers for charities. They had to raise $900 just to apply, and they also created a logo and a Facebook page.
Probation Officer Carl Miller said, “DREAM members, by their own hands, feet, and minds, are forging a low-cost, sustainable organization with a profound impact on the community.” The group has become a reality through determination and hard work, and in the process the group’s members have become a tight-knit group.
Image courtesy of Greeley Tribune.