A Step In The Right Direction

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION


Meet Gabi Vlasak: one of our recent CORE graduates. Her commencement ceremony was just last Sunday on June 24th, and we are so proud of everything she has accomplished!

Gabi is 22 years old and originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her struggle with addiction started when she was just 15 years old.

“I always felt really alone, and I found relief in drugs and alcohol. They were my escape from reality,” said Gabi.

Gabi continued to use drugs as an escape over the years until it eventually began to take over every part of her life.

“I lost everything,” said Gabi, “my family wanted nothing to do with me; I was at rock bottom and I really just felt like I had nothing left to live for.”

Gabi went to a 30-day rehab facility, but said that she never really thought she would stop using. While she was there, she found out about CORE and decided to give it a try.

“I figured I had nothing to lose by coming here,” said Gabi, “ I chose to come but I didn’t necessarily want to be here at the time.”

Gabi says that she felt extremely overwhelmed when she first arrived at CORE.

“I found a lot of things here that I never thought I could have. The relationships and support here were just really incredible. I saw everything they had to offer and I realized it would be naïve of me not to take advantage of it and try to better myself,” said Gabi.

Gabi said that she has learned so much from CORE, about herself and about interacting with others.

“It’s taught me who I am, why I am the way that I am, how to work through everyday problems, how to open up to people and be honest about my feelings, and how to accept myself and those around me,” said Gabi.

Gabi said that she has always been a really private person and she found it difficult to open up to others, so coming into the CORE housing was a completely new experience for her.

“It was a little weird at first because we were all so close together all the time, but after a while I realized we were close for a reason,” said Gabi, “There was no hiding my feelings or shutting everyone out anymore. You have to talk to each other and that was good for me.”

Gabi said that since coming to CORE she has more opportunities, her life is stable, and she’s even been able to rebuild the relationships with her family again.

“I honestly never thought that I could stay sober for this long, or that I would find such joy and peace,” said Gabi.

Gabi said she is so glad that she made the decision to come to CORE, and she has a message for those who might be afraid to do the same:

“Just give it a try; you have nothing to lose. There is a way out, a way to live and be happy and have peace of mind. Getting connected and talking to people who have been through the same things you have is so important. You are not alone in this.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, and we encourage anyone who is considering CORE to take that step. We are ready to help anyone who is ready to help themselves.

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WHAT IS COMMENCEMENT?

Our Commencement ceremonies happen once a month and they are BIG DEAL here. It’s a time for clients to get together with their friends and family and celebrate one whole year of sobriety and completing the CORE Common Solution Recovery Program. Clients get to walk across the stage and receive a plaque for their achievements. They’re given the opportunity to stand before everyone and talk about some of their favorite memories, accomplishments, and people who inspired them the most at CORE.

Food and beverages are served and everyone can picnic together. There are even baptisms happening in the creek nearby! It’s a time of fellowship and celebration as we send our graduates on to the next phase of their lives, taking with them everything that they’ve learned here at CORE.

June 2018 Newsletter

Giving Back

Meet one of our newest team members at CORE: Michael Corcoran. Mike is a nine year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and has been deployed around the world during his years of service. Mike wants to share his recovery story as it depicts what CORE is all about!

Mike is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and like countless other people, he started down the path of addiction at a very young age.

“I started smoking meth at 14 years old, which led to a 34 year addiction,” said Mike, “I had burned most of the bridges with my family from years of addiction and abuse.”

Mike tried going to rehab but said that no sooner was he out, and he was already thinking about getting high again.

His sister did some research online and came across CORE’s website. She got in contact with our Recovery Services Manager, Buddy Krause, and within a couple of days Mike was in our intake program.

Mike says that CORE appealed to him more than other recovery centers because he was able to lead a normal life while still being held accountable for his actions.

“I had to have structure and routine in my life, and I found that here,” said Mike.

He attended our Common Solution classes, which explore the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous; as well as our spirituality classes, which teach that the true solution to any problem in life is Christ.

“Something began to change in me,” said Mike, “I wanted to know more.”

Before coming to CORE, Mike said he had never wanted anything to do with God, but that slowly began to change as he started attending Peace In The Storm Services and continued progressing in his studies.

“The first time I went to a Peace in the Storm service, I was amazed,” said Mike, “There was this incredible band playing and they were just rocking out! And there was a former addict standing up there preaching to a room full of addicts; I could really feel something in there.”

Mike said he began to look around at the staff in the room and think- I want that life.

“I was amazed by how much everyone cared about each other,” said Mike, “The fellowship in these houses is absolutely amazing; there are addicts everywhere on the streets who could care less about one another, but here they really do care.”

Mike didn’t originally know that he would end up working in the same place that had helped him heal so much, but it’s funny how often God will open the door to something we didn’t even know we wanted in the first place.

“I just knew that I wanted to be doing more, and I wanted to help others and become more involved,” said Mike.

Mike says that he prayed a lot about how God wanted him to fulfill this calling to do more and it didn’t take long before he got his answer.

“Kevin Hunt called me a couple of days later and asked if I would consider working for CORE,” said Mike, “I thought about it and realized that I wanted to be a part of this organization in whatever shape that looked like.”

Mike has been working as a custodian for the CORE campus, but will start as a House Manager this month, teaching newcomers rules, helping them learn the steps to recovery and just being a listening ear when they need someone to talk to.

“I want to be a friend to them and help them through the program,” says Mike, “I just really want to set a good example for them.”

Mike says that the hardest part of this is seeing when his brothers and sisters relapse. This is a hard one for all of us, but unfortunately it does happen. However, the hard parts are all worth it when you get to see the look in someone’s eyes as they finally get it and they just surrender.

We can’t wait for Mike to begin this new journey as a House Manger and watch as he leads others through the same healing process that he went through. It’s amazing to see our clients come full circle and use what they learned here to help others. And at the end of the day that’s what it’s really all about – taking what we’ve gained and turning around and giving it back.

Our 12th Annual Auction Was A Success!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Live & Silent Auctions in May. It was truly incredible and humbling to see the people in our community coming together and showing their support of our programs.

The money raised at this auction will allow us to continue helping people and restore the families and lives that have been torn apart by addiction.

We are so grateful to all of our sponsors and to the people who donated items to be auctioned off as well. We could never have pulled this off without you!

May 2018 Newsletter

Rising Above The Fold

CORE has been helping people overcome addiction for 22 years now! We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and we strive to make sure that CORE offers the best possible programs and environment for our clients.

At CORE, we don’t just teach a class and send clients on their way; we also provide housing for them and give them an opportunity to experience community with others who are in similar situations as well.

“More of the magic, or the miracle if you will, takes place in their home environment than in this facility,” says our Executive Director Cary McKee.

Living in the home allows them to spend time with their peers, hold each other accountable, and communicate what they’ve learned with one another.

“I think that’s where the greatest growth comes from, soaking it in and allowing it to be watered,” said McKee.

All clients are required to abstain from any drugs or alcohol while they are in the CORE program. Unfortunately, those who do not follow this rule must be asked to leave.

“I have to be concerned with the safety and spirituality of the remaining clients,” said McKee.

This is one of the hardest parts of our job, and we hate seeing when clients don’t fully embrace the recovery program.

“It only works if the person is ready for it,” says McKee.

Clients pay on a weekly basis, which is where most of the funding for CORE comes from. It’s important for clients to be giving back and contributing to payments.

“Free rides don’t benefit anyone, “ said McKee.

CORE is also extremely lucky to have a wide group of supporters who donate to our cause. These donations are a key part to us being able to continue to grow and expand our services, especially since as of April 1st, CORE is no longer dependent on any government funding. Since the grant CORE had previously been receiving cannot be given to an establishment that teaches the gospel of Christ, we have chosen to forgo this grant.

“Should we ever jeopardize our values for the sake of a dollar, this organization would likely not exist,” said McKee.

The Christian foundation and values taught at CORE are part of what sets us apart from other secular recovery programs.

“The only solution we teach is God,” says McKee.

In the future, CORE hopes to continue expanding our program to other communities in nearby states. The goal is to eventually offer an intensive 30 day treatment program to the community, and to continue improving our program to address the specific needs of our clients.

“Perfecting anything that is mental and spiritual is impossible,” says McKee, but we hope to constantly be asking how can we improve and how can we glorify God?

Come Out to the 12th Annual CORE Live & Silent Auctions!

This event is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and a great way for you to show your support of the CORE programs!

All of the proceeds will be used to help restore families and individuals who are looking for a way out of their addictive lifestyles.

Some of the available auction items will include antiques, furniture, artwork, memberships, gift certificates and more!

We’ll even cook dinner, so be sure to come hungry! This year’s menu includes Roasted Pig on a Spit, Oven Roasted Chicken, Corn, Slaw & Potato Salad, all at a reasonable price!

The auction will be held on May 17th at the Core Complex
Located at 280 State Highway T in Branson, Missouri

For more information call Tami at 417.231.6969

The destructive nature of alcohol and drug abuse results in a hefty price tag. It presents a significant economic cost that is placed on Missouri families, businesses, communities, and government. People will have different views regarding morals, character and retribution directed at the individual who develops an addiction. The bottom line, however, is that an untreated substance abuser is more expensive to society than the cost of getting the abuser into treatment and preventing the non-user from initiating use.

 

“The Burden of Substance Abuse on the State of Missouri”
– Department of Mental Health (2008)