Meet the resident: Anthony

Anthony’s journey has been one of transformation, strength, and newfound opportunities. For Anthony, a resident of Dismas House since October 2023, this place represents a second chance at life. “Dismas House gives you opportunities to better yourself and have a better life. It helps you achieve all your goals,” he explains. “This opportunity – anybody would be crazy not to take it.”

Growing up in a small town in Sumner County, Tennessee, Anthony’s early life was marked by struggles and challenges. His family was his anchor and guiding force in his life in a small town that offered little in terms of opportunities and chances.

For Anthony, he admits that drugs took over his life to the point where he no longer had the drive to do better in life or change his circumstances. His addiction started off with alcohol and heavy drinking. However, by the time he started doing drugs, he had actually been sober from alcohol for years. “I wasn’t living a good life. I didn’t see my family. They are big Christian people and they didn’t agree with what I was doing,” he recalls.

This lifestyle ultimately led to a rift in his family. “They hated seeing me in the situation I was in. They hated seeing me kill myself… but drugs just had me; it had a hold of me.” Yet, through all the heartache and disappointment caused by his addiction and his time in prison, Anthony’s family remained by his side. “They never turned their back on me,” he says, a testament to their unwavering support.

In October, Anthony found a lifeline at Dismas House. This new environment provided him with the support and opportunities he desperately needed to start rebuilding his life. Most importantly, it offered him the chance to mend the fractured bonds with his family. “I can see them anytime I want now,” he says, a privilege that addiction had previously taken away.

Thanks to Dismas House, his family continues to be a central pillar in Anthony’s life and celebrating milestones like his grandson’s first birthday and his granddaughter turning six are moments he cherishes deeply.

Reflecting on his past, Anthony acknowledges the mistakes he made but is committed to never returning to his old way of life. With the support of Dismas House, Anthony has also made significant strides in his professional life. He now works in maintenance at the Residence Inn, a job he enjoys and takes pride in. His renewed sense of purpose and confidence has been pivotal in his journey towards stability and independence. His current goal is to save enough money to secure a down payment on a small place of his own, continuing to build a stable foundation for his family.

Anthony’s story is a testament to the power of support and second chances. “My kids look up to me now… It really hurt them to see me in the situation I was in, but now we’re all as happy as we’ve ever been,” he says with a smile. Dismas House has been more than just a place to live for Anthony; it has been a foundation for his stability. The support he receives here, the opportunities to better himself, and the encouragement to achieve his goals have been life changing. “They kept my spirits up and if I had any questions or had any problems, they were always there to help me.”