Good people often find themselves struggling with issues that bring out their worst. Addiction is a condition that can lead people to the depths of despair. When men and women lack healthy coping skills and are in the grips of mental illness, they make decisions that can change their lives forever.
On this blog, we make a point of searching for stories of rebirth. Instances when individuals rise from the ashes of addiction and mental disease are worth retelling. Such stories can act as beacons of hope to all those who think that they are beyond help.
Jails, institutions, and death are said to await persons who do not receive assistance for addiction. Many people who’ve struggled with drugs and alcohol know that there is truth to those words. Nonviolent drug offenders make up a large portion of the U.S. prison population. There is also a significant number of inmates whose addiction lead them to commit previously unthinkable acts of violence.
While substance use is not a sound excuse for harming others, it does not mean that those who do are unredeemable. Addiction has brought many men and women to prison, but there are some who use their jail time to change their life.
Quintin Storey, 40, spent 19 years and seven months in a state prison located in Florida for committing second-degree murder, WBUR reports. His nearly two decades of imprisonment was a reformative period; he found addiction recovery and developed a passion for the culinary arts. Today, with the help of another chef in recovery, he is helping other felons as they transition back into the community.
From Prison to Addiction Recovery to Helping Others
Mr. Storey tells WBUR that he had a mostly normal childhood, one that involved family, music, and religion. He played sports and went to church; Quintin remembers being happy. Then, when he was ten, his whole world was flipped upside down—his parents divorced.
He found himself incapable of making sense of his parents’ separation through the lens of his devout Christian beliefs. Lacking coping skills, Storey began hanging out with the wrong crowd, smoking pot, and drinking. After high school, Quintin started using and selling drugs and abusing alcohol. In 1999, he was charged and convicted with homicide.
While in prison he started working in the kitchen, where he discovered a passion for cooking. In January 2018, Mr. Storey was released from jail; being a felon, he needed assistance. Then, Quintin learned about the REfire Culinary Program.
Chef Rebecca Kelly-Manders, 45, started REfire to assist felons transitioning back into society, according to the article. The eight-week program instructs students on knife handling and food safety.
“My darkest past can be a beacon of light for somebody else,” Rebecca says. “I can say, ‘Hey, look what I’ve walked through. You can walk through this, too. Let me show you how I did it.’”
The founder of the program knows how challenging it is for individuals with felonies on their record because of her past. Drug and alcohol addiction led Kelly-Manders on a destructive path; she was convicted on felony charges more than once before finding recovery.
In February 2018, Storey took the REfire course and graduated eight weeks later, the article reports. Despite being an exceptional student, he struggled to find a job. Kelly-Manders chose to hire Storey, making him supervisor of her cafe and the food protection manager at the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.
“My felony conviction was something that was basically a wall that was built up to where it was difficult for me to get a chance,” Quintin says. “And Rebecca helped to tear that wall down.”
California Faith-based Addiction Treatment
We invite anyone struggling with addiction to contact Celebrate Hope to discuss treatment options. At our center, we rely on evidence-based modalities along with Biblical principles to help men and women discover lasting recovery.
Start celebrating hope today by speaking to a faith-based recovery specialist. (800) 708-3173