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Person First Project – Stephan

Person First Project is a photo blog that seeks to give those currently or formerly experiencing homelessness in D.C. the chance to share their stories. In doing this, we hope to reduce the barriers that separate people in D.C. and spark a dialogue. The Person First Project aims to connect us – and to make us all feel a bit more human.

stefan 1

“My name is Stephan. I’m a drug addict and an alcoholic. I’ve been clean and sober for 39 years. I’ll be 66 in 2 months.

I got into the “alcohol counseling” world quite a few years ago because I want to make a difference. Who else can express more about the pain, the agony, and the bad choices of drugs and alcohol than an alcoholic or a drug addict? I understand how to get clean and I know how to stay clean. It’s a matter of choice.

See, we think that alcoholics are another species from another world, but there’s more to it. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t give you the right to give up. So where do we get our strength? It’s through choice, through understanding what we are doing; what we are choosing is not healthy for us. It affects society, the community, the town, the state we live in. It’s a domino effect. You can’t cure it. It has to be a relief from within.”

– Stephan

Author’s Note: Stephan is currently on living on a bench but hopes to go back to Santa Cruz.

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