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Raymond, my friend...

My name is Dante, and I am one of the new community advocates here at The Human Impact. Working with this team has been a DREAM, for many difference reasons!


One of my favorite things about my work is the relationships I am privileged to build and how I am able to learn from them every single day. One of the relationships that I’ve learned the most from is my relationship with Raymond Tabera.

We had a chance to celebrate him and his journey towards sobriety. This was a very exciting time as I believed the sky was the limit for what Raymond could now achieve.

Shortly after celebrating we started our journey towards getting Raymond’s driving license. Everyone understands how intimidating the DMV can be (especially if you get the mean old driving instructor, lol). Because Raymond hadn’t driven a car in such a long time, we did a lot of practicing!

During the time in the car, Raymond and I became very close and began to develop trust with one another. After 3 long and suspenseful trips with Raymond to take his driving test he PASSED! We had the biggest celebration on the ride back home to Raymond’s new apartment!

Raymond in his apartment

Yes… Raymond also was able to get a new apartment!! Our friends at Perry Guest offered Raymond a job opportunity that allowed him to pay for an apartment. We were so thankful for that. With Raymond getting his driver’s license, he was now able to drive to work every day.

After a few weeks of work, I was able to sit down with Raymond and help him budget his money! This was a great experience for me because, after we budgeted, we were able to determine we could get him a cell phone! I felt so excited because I was able to walk alongside Raymond into stabilization. We were both on a high in our relationship, I was even able to go to his job and work alongside him!

But something happened… One day Raymond relapsed. He didn’t make it into work for a couple of days and was nowhere to be found. I was honestly devastated. All the work we did seemed like it was a waste. I was upset and even saddened! This is when I realized, I had to do my best to mimic God in walking alongside Raymond.

Because God has given me so much grace in my walk with him, I could only do the same with Raymond. I chose not to judge him for his decisions, but to continue to love him through his mistake. After talking, we both realized that it would be best for Raymond’s walk if he committed to rehab for some time.

Raymond before leaving for his 6-month program

So, that is where we are in our walk. Raymond has committed to a 6-month rehabilitation program. He always tells me he is so thankful for us and what we have done for him. But little does Raymond know, he has taught me to walk more closely to the feet of Jesus in times of


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, know that there is hope for healing and that relapse, as discouraging as it can be, is also very common. It can be a long and difficult process toward recovery, but it is worth it! For families and friends of those struggling with addiction, Al-Anon is an incredible resource to learn what you can do to help your loved one and yourself.

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