Our Clients Attestation
Testimonials of our clients from different walks of life on their personal experience in CFL.
As a former client of CFL, I was impressed with the personal nature of the services provided. CFL always made a point of stressing the importance of each individual's recovery while highlighting the importance of group support in achieving success, utilizing a "tough love" approach. The CFL leadership knows that recovery is an imperfect process and many times there are stumbling blocks along the way that require patience and empathy for these struggles to reach fruition. CFL provides a wide array of services for their clients that differentiate their approach from many other recovery homes. These services are a tremendous benefit in allowing their clients to reinsert back into the community and become productive members of society again. CFL's philosophy is a firm belief that no one should be left behind on the mean streets and that everyone deserves a second chance at a sober life, with God's love shining the way.
— A Former, Very Grateful Client
Centers for Living cares where others don’t. No matter who you are or where you come from they’ll make you feel like family and instill in you a sense of purpose that will last you the rest of your life. Their model for helping people and willingness to go the extra mile inspires hope and tells this writer that there are still people who care out there, who put others before themselves. And that’s the way it should be.
— Adam, Former client
My name is Ron Beglin and I’m the owner of RnD Tax Incentives and would like to provide you my positive experience with Center for Living and the uniqueness of their ministries. TJ Leonard is a colleague of mine as he introduced me to Centers for Living as he recommended I meet with John Coyle and Dawn McCollum to get to know and understand their Ministry. This is my third Company as I have worked with several non-profits in the past and was truly interested to hear their story. Immediately meeting John and Dawn I could feel there was something different and didn’t understand what it was at first, however after spending time with them, it was evident as their love and grace was only for their resident. After they explained their vision to provide a loving, stable, accountable and beautiful home for their clients I understood their hearts. They are focused on providing a path to transitional clients to become whole again and a financial contributor to our local economy along with ministering others at the time of need. The living experience for their clients regarding the fellowship, leadership and true-life skills regarding their clients in a transition is juxtaposed from other facilities. Specify their love, faith and their philosophy for recovery, along with the formula of their accommodations, fellowship a dinner (which are prepared by a chief on site) accountability as their clients are tested daily, life skills, computers, financial training are uncommon from other facilities and can only be a huge success for their clients. The forgiving nature of CFL’s ministry and valuable second chances that are granted compared to similar facilities are mandatory for clients progress. Their staff is 100% percent committed and provide an accountable, educated and positive atmosphere which contributes to the client’s recovery. All the above attributes would mean nothing without the leadership, love, compassion and grace of Dawn and John. They are the reason for the success of men and women at the loneliest time of someone’s life as they are the beacon and inspiration to guide them to the correct path. Centers for Living is desperately needed for our growth in our common humanity as I am confident Fresno County would be proud of this ministry.
Everyone deserves a second chance…and at Centers for Living, you are not only given a second chance but also opportunity, fellowship, therapy, guidance and coping skills. You learn how to let go of negative behaviors and live in a positive and honest environment where everyone supports each other and is heading in the same direction. All the tools necessary to positively change your life.
— Mike Probst
These are some of the things that jumped out at me, on my one and only visit the first facility. I was impressed by how pleasantly clean it was! Not "institutional sterile", but "warm home clean"! Then the fact that the residents were expected to pay a stated fee, after their first month, and if they still hadn't found work, they went to a local "Carwash", and worked there until they did find a job. Their welfare food stamps were used as part of their pay! How wonderful, not only do they have a roof over their heads, but the food stamps are actually used for nutritious food. The kitchen in this particular facility was quite open for all to see and be a part of. The cook there was a young man with great cooking ability, and very particular about everything. As fussy as I am about my food preparation, I was impressed! And the aroma made the house feel like home! Another very smart idea is the computer room, making it mandatory for the residents to keep applying for work so that they will be able to enter the "be the responsible real world"!
Probably, I enjoyed dinner time most of all. Everyone, guests and those who are home from work, all are seated at a table (with a table cloth) a blessing is said, and after dinner, time for conversation, and each one is encouraged to share how their day had gone. To my way of thinking, this is, "family healing!"
— Grandma June
Centers for Living (CfL) for me has been much more than a program or rehab facility. CfL is a caring loving HOME for people in transition, like myself. It has been such a blessing to me beyond what I could possibly articulate and describe in just a few words. It has enabled me to attain and maintain dignity! It continues to be a cornerstone and catalyst in providing me with FREEDOM to truly grow, succeed in life and pursue a full, whole and satisfying life free from the bondage of addiction. I was a professional working in Fresno, and I had a very successful practise. Now, my prior life I count as no more than dung because I was extremely unhappy and depressed. I did not feel worthy of any love. I became an alcoholic. But, I would like you to meet the NEW me!! I now live a purposeful life. I have been given a second chance by the grace of God. CfL believes in creating "Purpose" rather than "Punishment" to develop LASTING change. It is a facility that takes addicts from all walks of life beyond recovery into a daily renewing walk in Christ. It has been instrumental in conquering my alcohol addiction, and putting an end to the despair and pain which I suffered, and revealing a life of freedom. While I continue to go through the transformation, I now understand the root of my prior addictive tendencies, and I have been restored in my relationship to myself, my family, children, and my God-given purpose. CfL has provided me with opportunity, fellowship, therapy, community and spiritual guidance as well as excellent copying skills. If you have any questions regarding CfL, please contact either myself or its loving staff for more information. If you would like to learn my whole story, and what this place could do for you, please contact me, and I will be happy to discuss this wonderful place, and opportunities available to participate herein, perhaps over lunch.
— Christer Onneflod
Hello. My name is David Brown and I was a member of CFL or Centers For Living at a time we called ourselves the “Bryan Street Brother’s”. At the time I had just been removed from the Fresno Rescue Mission and had no place to turn to for shelter or help. I had already exhausted all of my family members in the outlying area of Fresno, California over a decade ago and my only option was heading back to, Parkway Drive, in East Fresno, to allocate some affordable weekly housing at the shady motels that specialized in weekly renting. And I already knew that meant I was cursed to get high again and to grasp at any passing luck of opportunity that might blow my direction. Sounds pretty pathetic right? Well, it’s even worse when that’s pretty much your only option in the city unless you have some strings to pull at a sober living house, which most prefer referrals or some hefty chunk of change just to get in. Which means you have to have a job or some family to pony up the dough for ya. And I had neither. All I had was hope in Jesus and a strong will to not use ever again. So, I called a friend who put me up for a night at the Motel 6 if I promised not to get high. I promised and knew this was helping hand was going to burn out quick. We struggled finding any place to let me in with no money and no job. Finally, we came across CFL on Craigslist and I filled out the online application and I even gave a call and spoke to a very inspiring man named John. Who would later become not only the house director but also a trusted friend. After we hung up, I went with my friend to go meet up and see the facility. After we spoke with the directors and the housing management, John Coyle and Dawn McCollum made an executive decision to take a chance on me based on “Faith”! Who does that anymore? I got to admit that it almost sounded too good to be true. I moved in the next day and my life started to turn around there. They helped me with more things than I can put into this email, but the beautiful thing is that the help they have to me has affected my life in such a positive way and is still affecting my life positively today. Now I’m married with 4 step children whom have become like my very own and I love my life even in the difficult times. I’ve learned how to deal with life on life’s terms and it all started with John Coyle giving me a chance. I’m truly grateful to God and Jesus first but definitely to John and Dawn as well. Other places would never have dealt with my issues the way they did. Almost in a loving parental way. Which, most of us burned out drug addicts really need. I never used or had to request grace or mercy for a second chance there or anywhere again, but I know of a few others who did and they definitely got some undeserved grace. If I could give a personal opinion, I would just like to say, CFL is under-rated and their needs to be more places like this in the world! That was 1 year ago and am now a recovered meth addict, after trying for the last 5 years in a multitude of recovery ministries. Not to say they didn’t all have an impact , because they did. But I’ll just say, CFL was extremely instrumental in my changing of my heart which lead to the changing of my mind and ultimately the changing of my life.
Sincerely, (DB) a previous resident of CFL and a forever grateful man for CFL.