Tucson’s ARC fosters fellowship through rehabilitation

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Beneficiaries find acceptance and support at Tucson ARC.

At the recently renovated Tucson Adult Rehabilitation Center, constant smiles light the faces of employees and beneficiaries, despite the realization that the program is not all fun and games. “We try to create an atmosphere that is light-hearted and fun,” said John Edgemon, director of personnel. “However, when it is time to get down to business, everyone instantly becomes focused and eager to work on the task at hand—whether this be sifting through donations or sharing in the devotional.”

The program, which can accommodate 90, offers numerous recreational activities. A basketball court and weights are located behind the building, around the corner from a pool and lounge area. A recreation room offers billiards, ping-pong and foosball. The staff understands that some simply like to unwind in their free time, so these individuals can visit the library and living room, complete with a large-screen TV purchased by ARC beneficiaries through proceeds raised in the canteen. “We truly strive to meet the interests of all the men in the facility…we find this helps to make them feel at home,” said Tucson City Coordinator Major Bill Lum. “But I hope you don’t get the wrong impression! The program keeps the gentlemen extremely busy, with little time for freelance activities.”

To maintain the six thrift stores located throughout the Tucson area, the work-therapy program beneficiaries sort, tag and process over 9,000 garments a day, along with completing 85-100 pick-ups. The beneficiaries will tell you that keeping busy through the work-therapy program is extremely important to their recovery, but even more important is the relationship they learn to foster with God. “The strength I have found in devotion, and through his word is amazing!” said Damon, a current beneficiary. “I have no doubt in my mind that my new relationship with God will help me complete the program successfully and continue to stay sober after graduation.”

Boasting 93 graduates in 2005, the program prides itself on the success of its graduates, but also welcomes back those who require extra help. Edgemon will ask these returnees if they are done doing their “research” out in the community, and if they are “ready to complete the program?” Each will answer, “yes.”

“We want everyone to know they are welcome here,” said Edgemon. “And that we will be here for them in good times and in bad, until they are able to make it on their own.”

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