Being a male homosexual meth junkie, the idea of living with 47 guys for my first year of recovery was uncomfortable. On the streets and in particular rooms, I was told that I should find a program amongst men of “my own kind”. That this and only this was the route to my recovery. There was no way, I was told, by some…men “of my own kind” that The Extension would work for me. Happily, my homelessness and desperation pushed me beyond this discomfort into acceptance. And so I entered The Extension.
Certainly, there were difficult times. There were periods where I felt alone and disconnected from my heterosexual peers. And it was at these times that I was given much comfort and support and love from the very many faith based communities and people who give selflessly of their time to The Extension.
We live in a country and age where division is thought to be permanent, unbridgeable. Relentless. And yet, my own lived experience at The Extension proves this is not at all the truth. Whatever divisions may exist on the plains of ideology, orientation, religion, values, partisanship etc had no bearing at all on the way I was loved by people from all backgrounds. All belief systems. All deeply and honestly held values. Here. At The Extension.
Which was a great and joyful surprise to me. The loving care I received and needed to receive at The Extension, especially from people who received no benefit in return, was an essential reason why I stayed whenever I encountered a particularly difficult few days. Love from faith. Love from good works. Love by strangers. Love that literally saved my life.
Love at The Extension, far beyond the divisions of the larger world.