Good Shepherd Center graduates 50th veteran from recovery program
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Good Shepherd Center in Wilmington has reached a milestone in it’s mission to help veterans struggling with homelessness and substance abuse. Officials said the center opened the Sgt. Eugene Ashley Memorial Center to provide an 18-month transitional residence and recovery program. Up to 16 homeless veterans with history of substance abuse can participate in the program at time.
Wednesday, Katrina Knight, Good Shepherd’s executive director, said their 50th veteran graduated from the program.
“We are delighted to be celebrating the graduation ceremony for our 50th graduate from this program,” said Knight.
Paul Fisher said he has completed 18 months and the four phases of the Ashley Center Transitional Program. He said he worked on sobriety, income and life goals in order to move into permanent housing and continue his education.
Fisher said he is an army veteran who joined the program to deal with his alcohol abuse issue.
“It’s a pretty good commitment but I wanted to change my life,” said Fisher.”I actually was homeless living in the woods, and so for me I had a chance to get better.”
Fisher said he is currently a student at Cape Fear Community College and has been accepted at UNCW upon graduation. He said he plans on going into social work or counseling.
“I just know what I’ve gone through. I’d really like to help other people. And I know that there’s people out there living in the woods and they deserves a chance. I think we all do,” said Fisher.
Knight said it took 15 years to get 50 people through the program.