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We Will Call Him Jeff

A friend told Jeff to visit United Way’s West End WayPoint Center and talk to Gerri, because she would help him find a job. That friend was right - a warm welcome awaited him at WayPoint, where Community Impact Manager, Gerri Botts Lilly, completed a needs assessment to learn more about how WayPoint could help him on his journey.

As they went through the assessment questions, Gerri asked Jeff about substance use history, and she noticed that his body language did not match his responses. He inquired if a drug test would be needed for a job application, and Gerri informed him that some employers do require drug testing. Jeff shrugged, “I’m not worried about it, I was just wondering.” After the discussion continued, Jeff felt more comfortable and admitted to Gerri that he was in active addiction and really needed help.

Gerri immediately began calling treatment centers to find a bed for Jeff. A community partner had an open bed and was able to come pick him up directly from the WayPoint Center. Before he left, Jeff was supplied with hygiene items and clothing and the assurance that further needs would be taken care of by the treatment center’s caring team.

While Jeff had come to the WayPoint Center seeking employment assistance, he instead found the true help he needed. As he got in the car he said, “I don’t know how you knew how bad off I really was and that I needed treatment more than a job, or how in the world you got me to agree to treatment, but thank you for saving my life.”

When Jeff arrived at the treatment center, he called Gerri to let her know that he had kept his word and intended to try his best. Her final words of advice to Jeff were to take it one day at a time, and when that proved too much, to simply take one moment at a time.

Once Jeff finishes his treatment, he plans to return to the WayPoint Center for assistance with finding a job and continuing his journey forward.

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