I’d be lying if I said I had a good nights rest the night before volunteering at Salt Lake City’s Adult Detox Center for Volunteers for America in Utah. We aren’t ones to pass down an opportunity to help others so when we were asked for a few hours from the previous day’s gig at the youth homeless shelter we didn’t hesitate.What kept me up most of the night was being faced with the opportunity to help those suffering from an addiction problem. This disease hits close to home for me as family members and friends that are family suffer from it too. But like most other challenges on the road, we crush fears head on and side by side.
Before starting work we were given a tour of the center and a glimpse of what a 14 day detox center looks like from the inside. Some people were watching TV, some were doing chores, such as making lunch in the kitchen, some were fighting sleep in their dorm like beds, shivering under piles of blankets suffering from time without their usual fix. Each person voluntarily admitted themselves into a 14 day, non medical program.
Detox is the first step to sobriety, but it’s often inaccessible to homeless or those without health care coverage. VOA offers a Social Model Detoxification program, non medical, cost effective solution that makes detox possible for this population.
Today, the center hosts close to 60 male and females, most of which arrive with just the clothes on their backs. We were asked to work alongside another volunteer sorting and organizing clothes. Donations are accepted and piled up in a large room upstairs waiting to be sorted. We spent hours sorting through garbage bags, deciding what’s good to keep, and then organizing them in a large closet. Patients are able to request what they need, whether it be fresh socks and shoes or a dress shirt for a job interview.
It was difficult to witness such strong people sadly suffering from their own vices, but put a lot into perspective for me. It made me even more proud of my family members who have overcome their addiction. This post is dedicated to them.