Hello, my name is Johnny and I am a recovering addict and alcoholic. I grew up on the west side of Dayton, part of a very poor family whose mother worked two jobs and abusive alcoholic father. He would start drinking the minute he got home from work. As a young child, I remember seeing him passed out until my mother would get home from work and then he would wake up and start abusing her along with my sister and I for no apparent reason. My sister and I would try to stay with friends as often as possible so to not witness all the abuse. I remember his verbal threats and what I remember the most was the way he would threaten to kill my mother if we ever told anyone what was going on in our home. I told myself I would never be like him, however at the age of 13 I started following his footsteps.
At first I would drink to numb the pain of living in our home and for a little while it seemed like that was enough to make my troubles disappear. I barely made it through high school in the years that followed and I decided to start selling drugs which led me to a life of crime. I was in and out of prison and somehow amid all of this, my girlfriend became pregnant and gave birth to my son. As beautiful as that milestone should have been in my life, I chose to drink heavier and then started using the drugs I was out trying to sell. I became an absentee father and my only goal was to stay drunk and achieve the next high. I ended up in the hospital with kidney and liver problems and I was so deep into addiction that at some point suicide seemed like the best solution. I also felt alone with no one to turn to.
I remember being in the hospital thinking I was hallucinating when I heard my mother say “son, you need to go take care of your son and get your life together. Your son needs you”. I always saw my mom as my guardian angel on earth. Sadly, my mother had passed. After a 2 month stay at the hospital I entered Woodhaven Treatment Center, my “seventh” attempt at recovery and my last…as I had decided this time I would succeed!
I graduated from Woodhaven and entered Good Shepherd Life Recovery Program (GSM) located on the east side of Dayton. GSM is a faith-based men program which helps us become productive members of society. There are 3 homes and I remember being so impressed with my new living quarters. A nice clean mattress, something I had never had before, a weight room. But the one thing that stands out is the brotherhood this program provides. We are all men who share a similar past, all trying to make a successful go at life while gaining our families trust again, GSM provided me with recovery and bible study classes that helped me reconnected with God. This lead to what I consider many miracles in my life; my girlfriend and I were able to reconnect and I was able to get to know my son. I was also able to make amends with my father before he passed away from cancer.
I have since graduated from GSM, received a college degree in Chemical Dependency and got a job at a treatment center. I am now married and a proud homeowner with a bright future. I have also just received a promotion and I am a mentor at my church for younger kids who are going through tough times in their lives.
I continue to attend GSM’s Thursday night alumni meetings. I AM living proof that Good Shepherd Ministries can help you on the recovery process and lead you to a new life.
Cleaning up the Linden Avenue Sharon Cross writes "I would like to thank Mr. Trapp and the men that live on Linden Avenue at the Good Shepherd House. I have lived in my home for 14 years and rarely had any contact with theses homes on Linden Avenue. Since Mr Trapp has taken control of the houses, he and the men have made a big difference in the neighborhood. They are out helping the block clean of trash and drugs. All of the men are very respectful and very nice. The truly have made a big difference on our block".