Rob puts it bluntly: he has an alcohol problem, and he’s “failed” formal treatment three times so far. Articulate and educated, he once had a great job, a large home and a family. That’s all gone now. He blames no one but himself, and talks about his life with a relentless, unblinking acknowledgment of his mistakes. And when everyone else was ready to wash their hands of him, Rob says, it was The Mustard Seed who persevered.
"The people at The Mustard Seed don’t just feed you to the wolves."- Rob*
"I’m living here at The Mustard Seed. They have lots of rules and that’s OK – it’s good for me. I know if I want to stay here I have to get it right. These people at The Mustard Seed are my last hope. “They offer me a tailor-made program, not just a lot of hoops to jump through. If you have a sense of what you want to do for yourself, they’ll help make it happen. I’m in the gym, on the computer, in groups, and they set me up with counseling and with some work."
“I’m having new experiences – a sense of camaraderie, bonding with other people. I’m not used to that and it’s not that easy. But I’m meeting people with shared experiences – not “shared” like we used to be, partying and drinking, but sharing what we’ve done and been through and hope to do.”
“When you’re on the street, you carry a one-bedroom apartment on your back. The Mustard Seed gives you an alternative. They help you accomplish things and acquire things. Simple things like clean clothes. Clean water and a bath. Toiletries. Bigger things like government identification, and banking services. They help you with issues with the courts.
“It’s all planned personally. Mustard Seed staff help me set written goals and deadlines. I set them and I make an agreement with myself to accomplish them. Seed staff work at the goals with me, and we review them once a week. But I have to do it. Being with The Mustard Seed integrates you into society. The progress you make here allows you to hold your head up. “It makes it possible for me to hope”
* Not his real name