Doing Good: Souls Harbor Graduates Overcome Addiction and Poverty

ROGERS, AR -- - Building a life after battling addiction and poverty is no simple endeavor. Souls Harbor of Northwest Arkansas walks along side area men who are on a path to do just that.

"I needed a place to where I could have a little more extended care," Souls Harbor of NWA Graduate Charles "Chuck" Swain explained. 

Swain is one of the success stories at Souls Harbor of Northwest Arkansas. He came to the organization after having gone through a different treatment program. Souls Harbor was like a beacon of safety and validation during a stormy and tumultuous time.

"I had lost a lot of confidence, hadn't worked in a long time," Swain recalled. "So when I came to Souls Harbor it gave me the opportunity to get a job, regain confidence [and] save some money."

A year removed from graduating from the program, Swain now works in a corporate office environment where he is thriving. But it did not happen overnight, nor did his stay come without an investment in himself.

"For their sweat equity they do things like split wood or work in the garden or work on site," Souls Harbor of NWA Executive Director Charlene Fields shared.

The men at Souls harbor pay their way. Besides taking part in life skills training and addiction recovery, they put in at least eight hours of manual labor. 

That includes working in the facility's garden. Those in the program then turn their efforts into dollars by literally selling the fruits of their labors.

"The men grow it here on site," Fields explained. "They juice it on site and we sell that juice at the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market."

They call it "Soul Juice." The requirement from Souls Harbor paid off in spades for Vinaya Choppala, who completed the program about two years ago.

"When I got ready to graduate I was in a position with the good job that I had the whole time, that actually I got through Souls Harbor, and I'm still working there today," Choppala said. 

Both men remain grateful for the program's ability to rescue, restore and rebuild their lives.

"What it did for me is it allowed me to find myself again, to believe in myself again," Swain shared. 

We want to give our thanks to both men for being brave enough to share their own personal stories of struggle and success. Click here to learn more about the work of Souls Harbor as well as how to show your support.


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