GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Recovering from addiction isn’t easy, but at Manna for Life in Green Bay, those in recovery are bettering themselves while serving others.
Life looks a lot different now for Daniel Kruse. He spends his days working, serving those in need.
“We help supply water, food, anything that they need, necessity-wise,” said Kruse. This way of life is a stark change from the days of his past.
“I was never like that before, in my bad times,” said Kruse.
Those bad times were the days when he was addicted to alcohol and other substances. Now six months sober, Kruse said that Manna for Life has helped transform him, for the better.
“I started helping more people around the community and I really liked that. So, I started coming in on Saturdays and they would give me Sundays off. Sometimes if they need me for deliveries or whatever it may be, I come in,” explained Kruse.
And, he gets paid.
Kruse is part of the Manna for Life Work Program for Recovering Addicts, which in partnership with United Migrant Opportunity Services, helps those who have been out of the workforce get back on their feet and gain skills and experience to succeed in the labor market.
They can find work in the food pantry, the thrift store, the bookstore, and help with voucher programs.
“It’s more of a transitional stepping stone where they can come in and get that accountability, start showing up to work every day,” said Peter Silski, who is the Manna for Life Operations Manager.
Silski is a recovering addict himself, sober for four years, and said the program changed the trajectory of his life.
“I had noticed when I started working at Manna how much giving back meant to me. And really edified my recovery and gave me a sense of purpose when I came from a place of having nothing and no purpose, no drive,” said Silski.
Silski explained that Manna for Life is unique in that it takes the recovery journey of those who are in the program into account: “We recognize how important recovery is to them, so we’re very understanding and flexible with their work schedule and their hours so that way if they have to meet with a counselor, they can meet with the counselor. If they have to go to group, they can go to group. And we can work around that, as well as support them.”
Kruse said he is extremely grateful for the opportunity he’s been given to better his situation.
“I didn’t think there was a solution. Then when I went through the Serenity House, they mentioned Manna and how you can get paid doing it. I didn’t believe that. So I came, myself, to see that. I just couldn’t believe that there was something like this program,” said Kruse.
A feeling of purpose now envelopes Kruse, who has a vision for what’s to come. “Maybe start something like this. I would definitely want to help out the community,” Kruse said.
Silski said if any service or retail businesses in the Green Bay area are interested in partnering with Manna for Life in order to hire those currently in the program, to reach out. He also said if there is anyone struggling to find work while going through recovery, the Manna for Life doors are always open to help get you back in the swing of things.