Affordability, Accountability Key to Program Success

If you’re a parent feeling down this Father’s Day, especially if it’s due to your own bad behavior, Scott King will make you a promise: Follow the steps necessary and doors will open, revealing a universe of possibilities.

Scott will be living proof on June 21, enjoying the traditional family barbecue at his own dad’s, with his kids Jordyn, 13, and Labella, “10 on the 4th of July.” Had doors not opened fast and wide when Scott most needed them to, his holiday might be like any other Sunday in prison, along with the knowledge that he had let his kids down big time.

Scott’s situation had all the earmarks to begin with. He got arrested on drug charges in 2013; the kids’ mom succumbed to an overdose the following year. Along with his own fate, Scott anguished over that of his kids who had already been placed in foster care.

He spent 90 days in a Willamette Family Treatment residential program, and his DHS case managers came out in his support at his court hearing. The judge granted Scott that elusive second chance, and about that time a fellow recoveree slipped him a name and number for St. Vincent de Paul’s LIFT program.

Scott King with Jordyn and Labella at beach

Taking it one (glorious) day at a time, Scott King with Jordyn and Labella.

LIFT provides affordable housing and case management to individuals who have completed residential treatment but face homelessness upon graduation. Participants receive the counseling and practical guidance they need to stay on the recovery track, along with a huge community of people who are rebuilding their lives similarly. A successful LIFT graduate becomes a regular SVdP tenant or moves on to other housing.

Scott has retained the comfortable, three-bedroom apartment that he says is “perfect for myself and the children.” Early on, his having the place was pivotal in getting his kids back “way quicker” than he would have otherwise. Ever since, it has allowed him to exercise the self-care routine instilled by his LIFT case managers, and to build resources toward the next big goal: home ownership by summer’s end.

“(LIFT staff) Daniel, Ray and Thanh have been key in my success.” The combination of affordable housing, moral support, and accountability is “the magic of the LIFT program, in my opinion,” he said. “They allow the financial burden to be off your back so that you can focus on yourself.

To dads who are struggling this Father’s Day, regardless of why, Scott has this advice, “Focus on your goals and take one day at a time. Talk to dads in similar situations. Find a sponsor and attend weekly meetings. Find a home group.

“If you put in the legwork, your higher power will open doors you never thought imaginable.”

To learn more about LIFT, call 541.687.5820 and ask for Daniel Dickens, or email Daniel.